Sermon given 6 January 2007

The Pride Before the Fall

by Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

I don't know how many of you have seen the film "Independence Day"? It was certainly one I found quite interesting. I saw it some time ago. The world was saved by a 'geek', the world was saved by an individual, a man who basically wrote a computer virus, that then infected the alien space systems; and behold the world was saved by this individual.

Now if you look at "Independence Day" the actual film itself as it goes through it is pretty well clear that it was based on H G Wells' account of "War of the Worlds" to a large degree. But you know it is very, very different from 'War of the Worlds' in the way in which the world was saved. If you read "War of the Worlds" by H G Wells, which was actually published in 1898, Queen Victoria was still on the throne at that time, she didn't die until 1901. But in chapter 8, called; "Dead London", he actually gives the account, he says:

"And scattered about it - some in their overturned war-machines, some in the now rigid handling-machines, and a dozen of them stark and silent and laid in a row were the Martians - dead! Slain by the putrefactive and disease bacteria against which their systems were unprepared; slain as the red weed was being slain. Slain after all man's devices had failed by the humblest thing that God in his wisdom had put upon this earth."

And he goes on, he says; "All I knew was that these things that had been alive and so terrible to men were dead. For a moment I believed that the destruction of Sennacherib had been repeated, that God had repented, that the Angel of Death had slain them in the night."

Now in reading that; it is something that has been written about a hundred years ago, you do wonder - first of all the fact that they are going to God. And I know that you can actually see a film of "War of the Worlds". Spielberg actually created it and it was put out in 2005. It follows it fairly accurately and at the end there is a little voice over along those lines, but it also goes into a kind of evolutionary side. But in reading this and seeing what in fact was said by H G Wells, it is interesting that it points to God in His wisdom putting these things on the earth; and it also refers back to Sennacherib.

If this was written today, how many people would have any idea whatsoever who on earth Sennacherib was; "Sennac...what?" I almost thought before giving this sermon, I wondered if it would be worthwhile going out and doing a telephone survey, maybe ten people totally at random and saying; "Do you know who Sennacherib is?" and just see what their reaction would be. Whether anyone would actually know that or not. But there is an incredibly huge shift away from God and towards self and towards the pride in man's abilities today, that we find throughout society.

And yet here we are today. We are poised before probably one of the greatest calamities ever to befall mankind. Not probably one of the greatest - it says it is the greatest ever to actually come on mankind. His greatest fall and Mr Armstrong was talking about the turkey. How the turkey struts around, probably the only thing that it is good for is Thanksgiving; they have turkeys over there. It was interesting that he was drawing the analogy that it is like people so often.

But what I want to do today, I want to show you that it is very consistent within scripture, and something that we will find continually within scripture is the pride before the fall. So the title for the sermon is; 'The Pride Before the Fall.' And what I want to do is go through the history in scripture that we find and just notice what God has actually has recorded and given us here specifically for our day - to understand certain things in our day because we need to do so as a warning to everyone us to be sure that we don't elevate ourselves. That we don't become like that turkey before Thanksgiving. That we don't go ahead and look upon ourselves as anything great because in comparison to God we certainly aren't. And the areas I want to deal with in going through the history:

And finally what God actually demands of us. Because as you go through the actual history - and it's found within scripture - it certainly is consistent that the pride before the fall is a lesson that God wants all of us to really understand. That this is the lesson of history as God looks at history. And we need to understand this and make sure that we also understand it in such away as brought out in the World Tomorrow programme; blessed are the meek for they'll inherit the earth. It is not the proud.

Satan (PLAY FROM 05:30)

Turn over to Ezekiel 28:11 because this attitude of mind is coming from a source; and we find the source right at the very beginning and here we see this beginning time of this source, of the attitude, and frame of mind that we find that precedes the fall. And will precede the fall as we go through the various examples. Notice it says:

"Moreover the word of the [Eternal] came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus [it was the King, the power behind the prince, as we will read on a little bit about the prince], and say unto him [this one], Thus saith the [Eternal] God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty [it has got to be a spirit being, it cannot be a physical being as we know no physical being is perfect in beauty]. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God [Satan was certainly within Eden, the garden of God]; every precious stone was thy covering [it was going back to before he was pictured as this serpent of old], the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created." (Ezekiel 28:11-13)

So here is this glorious created being. Ezekiel 28:14:

"Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise [or can be journeyings, travelling around, Strong's H7402, sowing seeds of discord presumably] they have filled the midst of thee [the very core of you] with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy [or remove] thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire [no longer in the power and in the authority of God whatsoever]. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness [it was pride that actually corrupted Satan, it was pride that did it, it was vanity]: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee." (Ezekiel 28:14-17)

Which kings are they going to be that this is talking about? They have got to be spirit-born kings and presumably they are spirit-born king-priests, which we are destined to become. That we, presumably from this verse we are going to go ahead and regard this individual and see this individual as the one who was behind all of this mayhem that we see in the world today. We can't see this individual, we can't go ahead and behold that individual although it looks as if we are going to in the future. But what we can do is we can see the attitude and in Ezekiel 28:1 the same chapter it starts talking about the individual that this being was controlling, this being was influencing:

"The word of the [Eternal] came again unto me, saying, Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus [this was the human prince, the one who was controlled by the king], Thus saith the [Eternal] God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:" (Ezekiel 28:1-2)

In other words here was an individual that was again proud. It was the pride before the fall. Ezekiel 28:5 says:

"By thy great wisdom and by thy traffick hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches [because of what you are getting, therefore you have a certain frame of mind]: Therefore thus saith the [Eternal] God; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit..." (Ezekiel 28:5-8)

So here was the same thing with the pride inspired by the King of Tyre within the prince of Tyre that God was going to bring down. It was a pride before the fall.

Man's Beginnings (PLAY FROM 09:55)

Turn back a few pages to Ezekiel 16:49, we can see something within our own society that is mirrored in another society that was being influenced by this same individual. Here notice what it says, it is talking about Sodom:

"Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride [the first one being mentioned was pride], fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good."(Ezekiel 16:49-50)

So here we are looking at the attitude of mind, the attitude within the men of Sodom was one of pride. It wasn't just of immorality, it was pride as well. And today when we are looking at society - and here we are looking at society that is on the verge of falling - we look at the same thing. We look at 'Gay Pride', and it is being pushed out there. I think it was Stonewall, a nightclub over in New York, that was raided by the police in 1969 and that began the actual 'Gay Pride' movement. They all came out on the streets and protested against it and this actually started the very 'Gay Pride' movement.

So if we turn back to Genesis 3:4 we see the beginning of this attitude of mind that is coming from Satan. It was Satan's problem himself. It is something that we are going to see more of and we do see more of in today's society. And here we see Satan and the way in which Satan appealed to our first parents and notice what it says:

"And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:4-5)

What was it that was said to the prince of Tyre? It is saying, you are God, it is saying you are 'now' - not something for the future - but 'now' we can know good and evil and we can be as God. We can be just the same as God is. We can make the decisions for ourselves. Genesis 3:5:

"For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." (Genesis 3:5-6)

You can see that elevation that takes place here within that first example. The elevation of putting the self above God's Word. Putting ourselves above the Word that is delivered to us from God; that God has delivered to each and every one of us.

We can see the same thing in the beginning of our own civilisation, the one that we are in today. In Genesis 10:6 we find the beginnings of our civilisation and this age that we find ourselves in today, thus when you look at Adam and Eve that was the civilisation that then was before the Flood. But when we are looking here we see the seeds of the same civilisation we have. And it says:

"And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan. [Verse 8] And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth [he was a mighty one, regarded by people as a mighty one]. He was a mighty hunter before the [Eternal, placing himself before God]: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before [even greater than] the [Eternal]." (Genesis 10:6,8-9)

In other words he was able to subdue the animals at that time and he placed himself before God, in advance of God. Genesis 10:10:

"And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel [and it names a number of other towns], in the land of Shinar. Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh..." (Genesis 10:10-11)

So coming out of Babel then came Asshur, Assyria, and also Nineveh; and you have the setting for the start of this age, the age that we find ourselves in today was begun with these seeds. And the seeds were somebody who was putting himself before God. It was the pride that then built the entire society that we find ourselves in today and it has continued on until today. Until finally we are coming to a time of trouble so great that will bring that down and will be the final end of that pride and the end of that society.

Egypt (PLAY FROM 14:48)

We can see it within many other civilisations though. We can see it with Egypt. Turn over to Exodus 9:13, here we find Egypt also. It was the greatest power at the time of Moses; and it was something which was exalting itself and Pharaoh was exalting himself above the very Word of God. Notice how God dealt with Egypt, how He dealt with this particular attitude of mind, it says:

"And the [Eternal] said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the [Eternal] God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth." (Exodus 9:13-16)

And why in him? Because he was 'the power' in the earth. He was the power and here was a people prepared, and a subjugated slave people, that were going to be brought out and it was all part of the plan of God; being brought out by this power, the greatest power in the earth and to become a model nation. They were a type of a people that God is going to bring out of this society and this pride in this society. To be a people that will be the king priests in the future and will spawn the nucleus of that society for the future. The teachers of the world tomorrow; and it says, Exodus 9:17:

"As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go [is he going to go ahead and exalt himself, is he going to go ahead and promote himself]? Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now. Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die. He that feared the word of the [Eternal] among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses: And he that regarded not the word of the [Eternal] left his servants and his cattle in the field." (Exodus 9:17-21)

So there is a difference now between those who saw the Word of God, and listened to the Word of God, and those who didn't. Those who were stubborn and filled with pride and reckoned that they knew better than what the Word of God was telling them. Go over the page into Exodus 10:3 we find the same thing it says:

"And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the [Eternal] God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me." (Exodus 10:3)

Notice Exodus 12:12:{1}

"For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the [Eternal]." (Exodus 12:12)

So the gods of Egypt were actually being brought down by all the various plagues that actually occurred. The gods of Egypt were brought down, what Egypt put their trust in was being destroyed; and so today as well. Turn over to Hosea 5:3 we find that today, in a prophecy that is pointing to today, notice it says:

"I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me: for now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom, and Israel is defiled. They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the [Eternal]. And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity: Judah also shall fall with them." (Hosea 5:3-5)

Now Judah did not fall with them in the days gone by. Judah did not fall with Israel in days gone by. This is something which is for future time, the present time. Notice in Hosea 5:7:

"They have dealt treacherously against the [Eternal]: for they have begotten strange children: now shall a month devour them with their portions." (Hosea 5:7)

So literally in one month the whole thing will come down it appears and it certainly fits in with many of the other scriptures, that it is such a sudden destruction. If you look back in Exodus 12, you are looking here at the way in which the same Being dealt with Egypt in the days gone by and you notice; "...I will execute judgment: I am the [Eternal]." (Exodus 12:12).

Certainly when we look at the gods within our nations today, democracy for one. Democracy is a god, they look upon it as the system that has given us all that we have and yet that is going to come down and that is one god that will be destroyed. Medicine is another, the god of medicine is something again. You can almost foresee this being a god that is going to be destroyed. Money is another. You know these little notes that we have, which are just lumps of paper; there is nothing there, but we have such confidence in them and all the various digits and our credit cards and everything else. The money system also you can anticipate being one of the gods that will be destroyed. The armaments that we place all our confidence in - that is another area, another god that we place our confidence in and the technology; just to name the ones that immediately spring to mind today. And they are going to fall due to the pride that we have and the pride that we place in these kinds of gods that we have today.

And today it is a selfish one, it is like, instead of the way it was with H G Wells that they at least recognised the hand of God in things. In 'Independence Day' you are looking at a man coming up with a computer virus to save the world. Even in our entertainment that is the case. And here in Exodus 12:21 notice, the ones that were protected, I want you to notice something, it says:

"Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning [you had to be obedient to God completely]. For the [Eternal] will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the [Eternal] will pass over the door..."(Exodus 12:21-23)

It was the blood, and you know the symbolism as far as the Israelites were concerned, they had to go ahead and get underneath that blood. Without being underneath that blood they would be just like the Egyptians. If we have not got the repentance that is necessary and get underneath that blood; we are no different from anyone else because the Spirit of God is not going to go ahead and be given to anybody who is not. But here we see very clearly that that was the redeeming factor in Exodus 12:24:

"And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the [Eternal] will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the [Eternal's] passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and [they] worshipped." (Exodus 12:24-27)

The attitude of mind of the people, by that time having seen the plagues, the people within Israel, the leaders whom he was actually talking to at that time, bowed their head and they worshipped. And they were not filled with pride. These were slave people. And what we actually see as a result of this thing, just put in your notes, I Samuel 30:11:

"And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water; And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him: for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights. And David said unto him, To whom belongest thou? and whence art thou? And he said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days agone I fell sick."

You will find that an Egyptian was actually a slave of an Amalekite in the time of David. The Egyptian nation was just totally wiped out as far as the power is concerned. So the pride that they had was before the destruction, before the fall. And indeed that pride is something that we need to be aware of today and when we see it within society we need to understand, well, there is something inevitable that is actually coming from that pride; from that frame of mind.

Assyria (PLAY FROM 24:38)

What about Assyria? Turn over to II Chronicles 32:1. Here we find the account that was referred to by H G Wells, who today if he had been writing, and writing for the present people, they would have no idea whatsoever. But when this was written by H G Wells in 'The War of the Worlds,' and you are looking at the end of the 1800's, people knew their Bible. And they knew who Sennacherib was. But we don't today. But here in II Chronicles 32:1 it says:

"After these things, and the establishment thereof, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself. [Verse 7, here is what Hezekiah said] Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the [Eternal] our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah." (II Chronicles 32:1,7-8)

So we see within this passage here the trust that was within the people and yet we also see, notice II Chronicles 32:13, the pride that was within Assyria:

"Know ye not what I and my fathers have done unto all the people of other lands? were the gods of the nations of those lands any ways able to deliver their lands out of mine hand? Who was there among all the gods of those nations that my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of mine hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of mine hand? Now therefore let not Hezekiah deceive you...[and then you find in verse 20] And for this cause Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven." (II Chronicles 32:13-15,20)

Now if you turn over to Isaiah 37:14 we see this same account here and we see the same pride that was within this individual, Rabshakeh and also notice the humility with Hezekiah:

"And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the [Eternal], and spread it before the [Eternal]. And Hezekiah prayed unto the [Eternal], saying, O [Eternal] of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth. Incline thine ear, O [Eternal], and hear; open thine eyes, O [Eternal], and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living God [so here he had a humility]. Of a truth, [Eternal, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their countries, And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. Now therefore, O [Eternal] our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the [Eternal], even thou only." (Isaiah 37:14-20)

So this was different. And Hezekiah appealed to God and then you find God's reply in Isaiah 37:21:

"Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the [Eternal] God of Israel, Whereas thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria: This is the word which the [Eternal] hath spoken concerning him; The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee." (Isaiah 37:21-22)

You know that also applies to us. We are looking at Assyria that is going to take over this land, but the true Zion, the ones who, in fact, approach God in the right way will be able to say this; "...The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn..." (Isaiah 37:22). Do we have that kind of confidence? Are we close enough to God? Because we are going to need that kind of confidence as we go into the future. Because these things are destined to repeat themselves. The interesting thing is that it is the same one, you are looking at Sennacherib, the Assyrian, against Israel, against Judah. And you see here God reply in Isaiah 37:28, it says:

"But I know thy abode, and thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy rage against me. Because thy rage against me, and thy tumult, is come up into mine ears, therefore will I put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest. [Verse 36] Then the angel of the [Eternal] went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses." (Isaiah 37:28-29,36)

Now the army was much bigger than 185,000, but a hundred and 185,000 men was a horrendous number to actually be destroyed. If we turn back to II Chronicles 32:20 we find something here that also adds to it:

"And for this cause Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven. And the [Eternal] sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword." (II Chronicles 32:20-21)

So what actually happened was, it wasn't just the army died, a great portion of the army, it was that the captains, the leaders that all the mighty men, the key warriors were all wiped out. When Sennacherib came to look that morning to look around all his leaders had gone. Rabshakeh was probably amongst them, he'd gone. The whole lot, all the leadership, they were left with the ordinary working soldier. He had soldiers but nobody to lead them. And God had wiped this total pride out, completely, totally.

So we see here what God can do, and God will do; because it is a pride before the fall. It is something that is found throughout scriptures. Something that we find that we can be confident on, that we can look at and we can therefore see that the position of the current society, and the way society is going and what is, in fact, going to happen to society.

Babylon (PLAY FROM 31:37)

We find the same thing in Babylon. Turn over to Daniel 4:30, again these are accounts that we have all read before, but when we put them together and we put them together in sequence, in a historical sequence, we find that there is a message here within the historical sequence for us who are living just before the time of the greatest time of trouble ever. There is a pride within society and that pride is priming the fall. It is coming before the fall. We need to be looking at things and understanding these things. Here notice it says:

"The king spake [he'd already had had a prophecy from Daniel], and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty [here was the pride]? While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee [there is the fall]. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times [seven years] shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will." (Daniel 4:30-32)

And there is a certain humility, absolutely demanded by God, within mankind. And it is a lesson -t we have got to read these examples, these accounts and we ourselves have got to understand and learn. Daniel 4:33:

"The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws. And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar [here is an account then that was written by Nebuchadnezzar once his mind returned to him after seven years had gone through] lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" (Daniel 4:33-35)

We do need to learn a certain humility. Every human being has got to learn that. Every single human being. And within society there is a pride that comes before a fall. Daniel 4:36:

"At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase." (Daniel 4:36-37)

Now even Nebuchadnezzar at the beginning of this present, I mean there was an axial period that occurred between the time of Assyria and the time of Babylon. And all the kingdoms of the earth were turned over, and Babylon became the chief; the head kingdom. This was the head of gold and yet God went ahead and abased that kingdom and it was totally due to pride. He was not going to have that kind of pride, even in the king of Babylon, without that pride coming before a fall. It was an inevitability - you cannot have pride without the fall, and so we need to understand that. We need to learn this. We need to make sure that we learn this lesson that is written in the history. Written big, written bold in the history throughout scripture.

If we come to Daniel 5:18 we find the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar {2}:

"O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour [here is Belshazzar, who has had the hand writing on the wall; MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN, and then he has this warning that comes from Daniel]: And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:" (Daniel 5:18-20)

So we see here that he was referring back to this account with his grandfather. Daniel 5:21:

"And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts...till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will. And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; But hast lifted up thyself against the lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:" (Daniel 5:21-23)

And so he therefore determines that this night, basically you will go ahead and lose the kingdom; and it says in Daniel 5:30:

"In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two [62] years old." (Daniel 5:30-31)

Now when we look at what actually took place; the most likely, and I know if you read the history books they will kind of pooh-pooh Herodotus. But Herodotus lived about 484 BC - 425 BC. This event took place around about 539 BC - this kind of order of things. Herodotus actually says, he talks about Cyrus, how; "He placed a portion of his army at the point where the river enters the city, and another body at the back of place where it issues forth, with orders to march into the town by the bed of the stream, as soon as the water became shallow enough: He then himself drew off with the unwarlike portion of his host and made for the place where [legendary former queen] Nitocris dug the basin for the river, where he did exactly what she had done formerly: he turned the Euphrates by a canal into the basin, which was then a marsh, on which the river sank to such an extent that the natural bed of the stream became fordable." (Herodotus, Histories 1.189-191))

And therefore the Persians were actually able to walk into the river and got into the city.

Now yes there was a very good chance that he also had collusion with probably the priests in the city and there are certain other accounts that give that indication. But it fits with the suddenness that actually occurred with Belshazzar. And it was a pride that was there. He was using the vessels of the Temple. He was using them in a way that he knew was wrong, that he should not be doing that. He did not give God glory. Daniel came to him and that same night he was killed. And the entire end of the Babylonian era came to an end with Belshazzar, when the Persians actually came in and Cyrus had that victory.

The Medes and the Persians (PLAY FROM 39:32)

Now when we come to Cyrus himself or Darius as it says, Darius was the one who was put by Cyrus in charge of this area of Chaldea. And in Daniel 6:1 it says:

"It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage." (Daniel 6:1-2)

So here Daniel was set as the head underneath Darius, and they wanted to get rid of him. The thing where pride is concerned, as far as the Medes and the Persians, was the law, was their administration, was their bureaucracy. They were very different from the Babylonians in many ways but they had a great regard to the law and the king had to be under the law. This was something which you would not find within the Babylonish rule. The rule of Babylonians; Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, they were an absolute monarchs. But here we find when we come to the Medes and the Persians, that the law of the Medes and the Persians is actually over that. Much like we have today within democracy. And yet we find a pride before a fall. Here in Daniel 6:7:

"All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions [that pride within the king]. Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not." (Daniel 6:8)

And that pride within the king caused it to be signed and the pride within the system, the system of the Medes and the Persians also caused the entire set-up to be extended where Daniel finally ended up in the lion's den. And so in Daniel 6:10 it says:

"Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house...and prayed...[Verse 14] Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him." (Daniel 6:10,14)

Then these men assembled unto the king, and brought the legal force, the impeachment against the king to go ahead and do this particular thing. It is exactly the kind of thing we find in today's society. And this democracy is going to be brought down. We are going to have our noses rubbed in democracy. It is interesting the last two general elections within the United States; they were hung as far as the presidents were concerned. It was a hung vote, an almost 50-50 split, in two cases which as you know, you don't find to the same degree. In these two cases it came down just to a handful of votes. But it shows here that there is also a certain pride in this bureaucracy. And this pride therefore came down. Daniel 6:16:

"Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. [Verse 19] Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?" (Daniel 6:16,19-20)

In other words, he didn't believe that He would, but he had this lamentable voice. Daniel 6:21:

"Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever." (Daniel 6:21)

And those who actually orchestrated the plan were then hoisted on their own petard and they were therefore themselves put in the den of lions and the lions therefore destroyed them.

But we see this same basic message coming out that pride comes before a fall. It is coming from the message that comes right from Satan. Satan's pride will come and eventually he will be laid before kings because his fall will be there. And we see it throughout Assyria, we see it in Egypt, we see it in Babylon, we see it even here in the Medes and Persians.

Hellenic Rome (PLAY FROM 44:03)

Even when we come to Rome and it's not just Rome, but it is Hellenic Rome. Turn over to Acts 12:21. When we come to the Rome of Christ and the Rome of the apostles, it wasn't just Imperial Rome, which it was, they had enormous regard for the Greek ethos; for the Greek understanding. It is very much true today as well as we look back to Athens as the kind of home of democracy. That was the kind of founding start of democracy, and the start of our system in many ways. That is where they look back to. And these people also looked to the Hellenic culture and here Herod Agrippa I {3} was certainly one of them. Notice it says:

"And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them [talking about the king's country and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend, desired peace]. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. But the word of God grew and multiplied. And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem..." (Acts 12:21-25)

So this contrast; here was this pagan, Gentile leading monarch in this Hellenic Roman setting who elevated himself and basically was destroyed by God. And yet at the same time, the Word of God, people of God, were also there and they were growing, they were overcoming, they were doing the things that were necessary in a humble and contrite way before God. They are the true winners in this entire scenario which is described here in Acts 12. Turn over to Proverbs 16:1 because there are certain things that God has said and Jesus Christ has said here, that apply in all ages and certainly in our age as well today, it says:

"The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the [Eternal]. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the [Eternal] weigheth the spirits. Commit thy works unto the [Eternal], and thy thoughts shall be established. The [Eternal] hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the [Eternal]: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished." (Proverbs 16:1-5)

So whatever they do, if there is a certain attitude - and this attitude is coming from Satan, it is coming from a satanic pride - whatever that pride is, it says; "...[even] though hand join in hand..." (Proverbs 16:5). Even though they all get together, and they all consort together, they will not be unpunished. Now that is part of the Word of God. It is part of what God says. It is part of what we find continually through scripture in the accounts and the history. It is found there. And if you notice in Proverbs 16:18:

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18)

The pride before the fall is a Biblical statement. A haughty spirit before a fall and one leads to the other; one inevitably will lead to the other. So when we are looking at Herod, the way in which he was and what actually happened it was inevitable. There is a certain inevitability about it. And when we look at history, we look at these accounts that we have just seen, there is an inevitability about it. Because God will not have this human pride. The human pride is totally worthless as far as God is concerned because what it is doing is mirroring the satanic pride which is its source. Be it the prince of Tyre who was mirroring the king of Tyre, which is Satan, or be it Sennacherib, or be it Belshazzar, or be it Nebuchadnezzar, or be it you or be it me; all of us. This thing will not be allowed, this thing cannot be because it defeats the purpose and the plan of God.

The Modern World Today (PLAY FROM 48:54)

So when we come to our own time today and we look at the time that we find ourselves in now, let's turn over to Isaiah 9:8, here it says:

"The [Eternal] sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel. And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart," (Isaiah 9:8-9)

This is not just applying to people way back when, these things are talking to our nations today. They are talking to the nations of Ephraim and Manasseh, of America, of Britain, of Canada, of New Zealand, Australia, it is talking of us today. Isaiah 9:9:

"...that say in the pride and stoutness of heart, The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars." (Isaiah 9:9-10)

"Oh, we have got an invasion from outer space; but we will write a computer programme to go ahead and combat this alien." Instead of recognising where the true strength comes from, which they did when you are looking back only a hundred years. Isaiah 9:11:

"Therefore the [Eternal] shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together; The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still [He is going to do even more as far as Israel is concerned]. For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the [Eternal] of hosts. Therefore the [Eternal] will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day [just one day - it talks about a month over in Hosea, but in one day, it appears]. The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed." (Isaiah 9:11-16)

The pride comes first, the destruction, the fall comes afterwards. It is like night following day. It goes into the rest of the passage there but it is like night follows day. In our time today - in the modern world - we are looking at the pride that is suddenly going to be destroyed as it says here in 'a day' and it gives the indication that the leadership is going to be wiped out. Now exactly what it means and exactly how it is going to be fulfilled I don't know, but the indication is that the leadership is going to be wiped out in a day. In a very short space of time. Whether that means a literal day or just a very short space of time it is not clear; as I say, Hosea says it is a month.

Turn over to Revelation 3:17. What we can see is the attitude of mind within our modern society being reflected in the final Church era and the people that are actually part of that final Church era, of which you and I are living in the same society. Now whether we are actually part of that Church era, whether we are part of Laodicea or not on an individual basis that is not yet clear. And it will not be clear until finally there is a separation that takes place. But it is interesting to read what it says here:

"Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked [there is a pride there, rich, increased with goods, have need of nothing; there within the very Church itself]: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich [there is the fall, the pride first then the fall]; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." (Revelation 3:17-19)

Go back the read the accounts of Assyria, of Sennacherib, understand what happened to Belshazzar and understand what happened to Nebuchadnezzar. See what in fact is destined to happen as far as Satan is concerned. And we find this pride with a fall following. Revelation 3:20:

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me..." (Revelation 3:20-21)

The Word of God - if people do not put the Word of God above their own ideas and their own concepts then we are in for a fall; that is inevitable, the fall will come. And when we are looking at our society today, I think I have referred to this last time in the news update, this article which says; "How a giraffe got its long neck is not just a tall story, the study shows." The first experimental support for the classical evolutionary account of how the giraffe got its long neck is about to be published by scientists. And the report goes on talking about the experiments that they have done with trees and the idea that evolution took place and took place purely, totally arbitrary. It was just purely by blind chance these things happened. There is no intervention of a God, there is no intervention of a Creator. This is almost taken as a given.

And there is another one here; "Is this the shape of things to come for mankind? Humans will reach a pivotal peak around the year 3000 and after that we will divide into a clean, healthy genetic elite and a short stocky ape-type underclass." Again looking at the evolutionary side of things and this is the way that you find with evolution - and what do you find? You find that man is on top. That is why you find in the "Independence Day" film, a man is the one that is on top. He is great, his wonderful, marvellous computer wisdom was able to save the day. But that is not the way it works. And these various gods that we have, computer being one of them, I see it coming crashing down around their ears and several of us will rejoice. And quite frankly it will. Now we need to understand that it will be when God allows it, when God allows this to take place.

The United States of Europe (PLAY FROM 55:31)

But when we are looking at the United States of Europe, turn over to II Thessalonians 2:3. Now I personally believe that this has happened, certainly in type already. I think it happened within the Church, within the Temple of God, that somebody sat in this Temple of God saying that they in effect were a 'Christ-like' individual and were changing and over turning Christ's Law, and Christ's ways and what Christ had set up in His Church; declaring that they were God. But he is a type of one who is going to come; in the same way as the prince of Tyre reflected the King of Tyre. It is the same King of Tyre which is behind both individuals and here it says:

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first [that certainly has happened], and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition [the type has certainly occurred]; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." (II Thessalonians 2:3-4)

This "Christ-like individual", he sits in the Temple of God and he therefore overturns the very word of God that has been delivered to that Church. But it goes down, and talks about this individual in II Thessalonians 2:8:

"And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming [this is an individual who is involved as the false prophet, who is the final fulfilment]: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders," (II Thessalonians 2:8-9)

But notice what it says, this type that came before; "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all...shewing himself that he is God." (II Thessalonians 2:4). This pride that came before the fall. We have certainly seen the pride, we have seen the fall, but we also need to understand that there is going to come a time when there is going to be a pride that actually takes place in the future when we are looking at the destruction of Israel by the United States of Europe. Over in Revelation 18:4 when we look at the destruction that will take place on Europe at that time, of this false system, it says:

"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities [we are not to be part and parcel of this system which is the one being led by the King of Tyre, the very prince of Tyre is being led by the King of Tyre]. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and [then] double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double." (Revelation 18:4-6)

In other words the plagues that will actually occur on Babylon, Babylon the Great, on the United States of Europe, the ten nations led by the Beast and also the false prophet with him, that were doing the deceiving lies and wonders; it is going to be doubling. To double that she has herself has meted out. And so there is going to come a fall. The pride is there and the fall is there inevitably as well. The two go hand in glove. You cannot have one without the other. And here in Isaiah 2:2 we see what God is doing in this, notice what it says:

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the [Eternal's] house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the [Eternal]..." (Isaiah 2:2-3)

So it is the last days, it is the end time fulfilment that we are looking at; and here within that context in Isaiah 2:10 it says:

"Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the [Eternal], and for the glory of his majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the [Eternal] alone shall be exalted in that day." (Isaiah 2:10-11)

God alone will be exalted in that day. The whole thing is coming up to its fruition. We are living in a time when we see the arrogancy of men in all kinds of walks of life. We are looking at a time when that arrogancy is eventually going to be thrown down. And the only one that is going to be exalted in that day will be the Eternal and those that serve Him, will be serving Him and will be protected as a result of serving Him. Isaiah 2:12:

"For the day of the [Eternal] of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low [that is the destiny, that is what we are looking for]: And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the [Eternal] alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish." (Isaiah 2:12-18)

All these various idols, gods of this society, of this world, the medicine, the armaments, the money system, everything will come down. Isaiah 2:19:

"And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the [Eternal], and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself [each PlayStation, each Game Boy and everything else] to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the [Eternal], and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" (Isaiah 2:19-22)

And that has been talking directly to you and to me. Stop looking at men because when you look at men and the pride that you find within mankind, that is going to come down. It is inevitable. We find it within the history within the scripture, we find that God will not allow somebody to go ahead and just continue unchecked in the area of pride.

What God Requires of Us Today (PLAY FROM 1:02:51)

What God actually requires, Micah 6:8 it says:

"He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good [he is talking directly to you and to me]; and what doth the [Eternal] require of thee, but to do justly [what is right, to look at His word and follow that word faithfully, honestly, not just a case of ticking off the boxes and try to make ourselves righteous; but honestly and faithfully following that word and the spirit behind it], and to love mercy [to recognise that we are human and therefore other people make mistakes as well; to overcome him by the blood of the Lamb, which includes the blood applied to other people as well], and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Micah 6:8)

In the pathways that He has determined for us. With the amount of knowledge that we need at this time, and being humble enough to recognise that these things are restored for our good and for our benefit. Isaiah 66:1 I've read it many, many times within sermons, but it is necessary that we do keep going back here and understanding it. It says:

"Thus saith the [Eternal], The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the [Eternal]: but to this [house] man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." (Isaiah 66:1-2)

Gets the relationship right and makes sure that that relationship remains, and it says in Isaiah 66:5:

"Hear the word of the [Eternal], ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the [Eternal] be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed." (Isaiah 66:5)

In their pride they will become ashamed. Again the pride inevitably comes with a fall. After the pride then the fall. Turn over to Malachi 4:1 Again, what you are looking at here are people just like the prince of Tyre being led by the King of Tyre; we are finding at the end time, and right on into the future as well, you find that regarding the people that will be ashes under the soles of the feet of those that will be there as spirit beings it says:

"For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble [the pride is part and parcel of it, there is the pride, there is the fall]: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the [Eternal] of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and [leap] up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the [Eternal] of hosts." (Malachi 4:1-3)

There is a type and an anti-type here. The type in the destruction that you find when Christ first returns and the anti-type will be actual Gehenna fire when all with that same attitude of mind will be put down. And in addition, we are looking at the origin of that. The origin of that attitude of mind, who will be laid before kings and that also, there is a pride and there's the fall. And eventually that originator will in fact be laid before the kings that will supersede him and his demons. There will be a time of reckoning. There will be the pride yes, but maybe the pride, we have seen that today, but there will inevitably come the fall also.

I Corinthians 1:19, because we need to understand, we need to realise why we are called and we need to make sure that we keep this understanding in mind. Not that we are to stay like this, we are not going to necessarily stay this way. We are to be raised up. God will eventually raise us up and God will give us a glory that no man will ever have. It will be a glory that will be a spirit begotten and born glory. And that is what we are looking at. Here it says:

"For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." (I Corinthians 1:19)

God is not going to allow the wisdom of man to succeed, He is just not going to do that. There is an inevitability there. The pride that is followed by the fall. It says in I Corinthians 1:25:

"Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:" (I Corinthians 1:25-26)

And if we look around the Church that is absolutely true. And the more we look around the Church the more that becomes true of all of us. We are not looking at the mighty we are not looking at the noble. God has deliberately chosen certain people.

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise..." (I Corinthians 1:27)

Now the confounding of the wise, remember what we have read over in Exodus 12. We are looking at Egypt, you are looking at Pharaoh who was proud, who was about to be brought right down and destroyed, to the point where in the time of David, the Amalekite was even able to have an Egyptian slave. And yet who were the ones who He saved? The ones who bowed and worshipped, the ones who were the slave people. And I Corinthians 1:27 says:

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;" (I Corinthians 1:27)

And those slave people, the reason why they were able to survive was they got under the blood. They were able to be under that blood and recognise the value of the blood. And here in I Corinthians 1:18:

"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." (I Corinthians 1:18)

It is the way by which we can go ahead and have sins wiped out, and have a contact with the greatest power in the universe. That is the way in which we are able to do so. I Corinthians 1:27:

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:" (I Corinthians 1:27-28)

The things that are able to get up on their high horse - the turkeys of this world. They get up on their high horse and they gobble their way through whatever they are gobbling their way through and they don't realise that this pride precedes the fall, this pride precedes the Thanksgiving dinner. I Corinthians 1:29 says:

"That no flesh should glory in his presence." (I Corinthians 1:29)

And indeed that is something that we have got to keep in mind. We must make sure that we are God focused, that we recognise the difference between the godly things and also we allow Him to raise us up and make sure that we are aligned with Him. And He will indeed raise us up, that no flesh, absolutely no flesh, including ours may glory in His presence.


Footnotes:

{1} Mr Bowles quotes the wrong scripture here and then corrects himself.

{2} According to Wikipedia Belshazzar was grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, ruling as Regent for his father.

{3}More about this event is shown on: wikipedia.org/wiki/Blastus It was referring to Herod Agrippa I not Herod the Great.