We learned before that every thing we can see is not the foundation of reality. This earth is transitory. This world is governed by invisible things—by spirits.
We are admonished by the apostle John to not love this world. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” I John 2:15. You cannot love the Father, who is an invisible Spirit, and love the world, too.
The scriptures say that the whole world system lies in wickedness—that Satan deceives the whole world. Man also has the propensity to deceive himself and get the big head. Man thinks that everything is going his way yet is deceived in the way that seems right in his own eyes. The truth is that man is wandering around in a foggy delusion of what he thinks is reality, but that fog is a grand illusion. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish…And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie…II Thes. 2:10-11. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jer. 17:9. Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all…for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. Revelation 18:21-22.
Satan uses three things to spin an illusion that we exist as personages of grand importance: the lusts and passions of the flesh, the lusts and desires of the eyes, and the pride of life. We humans have very real desires triggered by our earthly bodies; we are creatures of abundant appetites of the flesh, especially sex and food. We also look out over our worldly environment and see things that we want to possess. Our eyes soak in sights that create hunger for those very objects. And the human being, who has so much greater potential in that he is to house the Eternal Spirit-Creator, is intoxicated with his own being, his own life. “I am alive, therefore I am great” seems to be the pride that man carries about in his waking hours. 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. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. I John 2:16-17.
In Eastern thought one finds a concept of maya, which is that everything is a great illusion; everything is not what it seems. There seems to be an element of truth in this, for because of the three things mentioned in the above quote, man thinks much too highly of himself than he ought to think. He thinks that he is the Great One, when in reality, the scriptures speak of man as a worm, a blade of grass, and nothing. And man deceives himself when “he thinks himself to something when he is nothing.”
The painful truth for some is that man, apart from the Spirit, is a very temporary piece of protoplasm, miraculous in its living earthly form, but still only a shadow of the reality that it could be. It is for man to come to grips with this truth that we are nothing. Nothing. Yet we strut around as though we were something really grand. Humility escapes us. The realization of our own earthly intelligence intoxicates us, and we prance and preen the feathers of our worldly accomplishments seeking momentary adulation from other humans so stricken by the same illusion. And where will we be at the time of our end, when we draw that last breath? If our name is ever mentioned 50 years after our death, our legacy, if any, molders into misty memories of someone that no longer resembles the real us.
This illusion that we are somebody is the major flaw in Christians coming to real service to God. The truth is that God seeks people to worship Him “in Spirit and in truth.” In Spirit means they realize that they are nothing in and of themselves, that there is no lasting goodness in them, that they are temporary, temporal bodies of earthly moist dust playing out on the world stage a futile charade of self-importance—when we humans are powerless to say to ourselves in the throes of death, “Live on!”
True worshippers of the Father realize this about themselves and surrender and let that ego die and by belief throw themselves upon the Supreme Being’s offer of a new spirit—His Spirit that enters into this present earthly body, to become a habitation of God. Those who walk this way of belief later have been promised an immortal spiritual body at the resurrection return of the Son of God.
The True Worshippers
True believers/worshippers are those who see themselves as part of a spiritual body of God, the Spirit. They see themselves as a dwelling place of the Spirit. They wrestle against the illusion aforementioned and through prayer attain a realization that it is “no longer I that lives but the Messiah that lives in me.” The illusion is then broken.
The true worshippers of the Supreme Being realize that they are part of a group of vessels who know that they are a spiritual body. They are Messiah’s body, the Anointed One’s body. His body is whoever His Spirit lives in. Through His presence in us we transcend the illusion of the world; we rise above the weak and beggarly elements, and become eventual spiritual offspring—just like Him!
It comes down to this: Those who will attain unto immortality by the change He will work in us at the resurrection—they will be “doing it before they get it; they will be walking as if He walks in them fully; they will be walking as if the change were already here! That, in fact, will effect the change from mortality to immortality.
The World Is an Outward Adornment
So, no, we are to “love not the world.” The word “world” is translated from the Greek word kosmos, Strong’s # 2889. “Orderly arrangement; ie. Decoration. By implication, the world:–adorning, world.” The same word in Greek is used for the noun “adorning” in I Peter where he is talking literally about an outer decoration. This adorning or decoration concept of cosmos has come down to us in the word “cosmetic,” which is an impermanent adorning of the decoration of the face.
So what was John really trying to tell us? He was saying that the cosmos or the world, the things we see around us, is merely an adorning, an outer decoration, an impermanent cosmetic applied to the invisible spiritual world. What we see with our earthly eyes is the spirit world’s adornment. The world is the outer appearance of an inner spirit world.
“For all that is in the world…”
Consequently, we are not to look at any man after the outward appearance, after the flesh, but after the spirit. To further prove that this is what John is talking about, he is saying when you talk about cosmos (the world), you are talking about fleshly, palpable, earthly things. “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 (The Invisible One), but is of the world (the visible adornment). “And the world (the visible, the tangible) passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abideth for ever.”
We should not be attached to the fleshly, outwardly visible things, for they are not of faith. They only seem real, for earthly eyes see them. But we should set our affections on things above. All of the things we see and hear with our five senses, all the things of this world, are not of the Father! For He is Spirit. His gifts to men are spiritual things: healings, miracles, faith, discerning of spirits, speaking in other languages. And all these gifts of the Spirit are just that—invisible workings of a Spirit Being who is using a human being to witness His invisible power. Kenneth Wayne Hancock
[This is Chapter 10 of my book The Unveiling of the Sons of God. To read more, visit my blog Immortality Road found here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com ]