And we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know what God has given us; 1st. Corinthians 2:12
As a start-up, what is the spirit of the world? Is it a real spirit, or is it just an idiomatic expression of the apostle’s style of writing?
If it is a writing style, the spirit of the world is nothing more than the influence of society, the philosophy of life of a community, or merely the religious expression of the pagan cults of the region. On the contrary, if it is a real spirit, the matter is more serious than we can imagine, because it is a demonic force that has and exercises government over entire communities.
It is clear that the apostle is not making use of a simple literary twist, because from the moment in which, in the writing, the apostle is comparing him with the Spirit that is from God: -we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God-, it is because the apostle is identifying a spiritual being.
It is not a personification. To say so would be the same thing as accepting the use of a literary twist, and we have already ruled out that the apostle is appealing to a literary style in his writing. On the other hand, Paul’s comparison demands that the elements compared be of the same genre, and equivalent among themselves.
In another of his epistles in which he writes in the same terms, he identifies him as a spirit that now operates in the sons of disobedience, and assures that he is a spiritual being, and names him prince of the power of the air.
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Ephesians 2:2
Other writers also refer to him showing his personal characteristic. James in his epistle presents him as an enemy of God:
Ye adulterers and adulteresses know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. James 4:4
Only in the writing of James, the name of the spirit is implicit. It refers to the friendship of the world (with the spirit), it is enmity with God. James warns about the spiritual estrangement to which the spirit of the world leads believers, driving them away and turning them away from God.
Apostle John has also identified the personal characteristics of the spirit of the world. He writes in his first epistle:
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1st. John 2:15
As in the writing of the apostle James, the spirit of the world is implicit in the wording. It refers to:
Love not the (spirit of the) world, neither the things that are in the (spirit of the) world. If any man loves the (spirit of the) world, the love of the Father is not in him.
John denounces that the spirit of the world enchants their inhabitants and offers them benefits that dazzle them and lead them to aspire for them. It is observed in another section of the same letter: For all that is in the (spirit of 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 (spirit of the) world. It is clearly visible that the spirit of the world immerses the inhabitants of the regions in a hypnotic magic where those who have fallen under its spell substitute God for the elements that dazzle them.
The weakness that many teachers and preachers of The Word have had, around the theme, is that with “world” we have identified a social, religious, economic, financial and even political system. We have treated the theme as an embodiment of evil in things, and that has prompted us to select out of the world the things that are good from the things that are evil. Of course, the selection has been made whimsically, according to our own conveniences, and in doing so, we have unfortunately proliferated evil itself.
The spirit of the world is not an embodiment of evil in things, it is a spirit, a real spirit that dazzles, blinds and uses all things under heaven, created or invented, to alienate people from God. The first writers were clear that it was a spirit of wickedness in charge of subjecting the inhabitants under a hypnotic state, of magic, under a snare of the devil, as the apostle Paul assures us, captives at his will.
And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. 2nd. Timothy 2:26
How does the spirit of the world impose his authority upon their inhabitants?
The spirit of the world is present in almost all the day-to-day activities of the residents of a region. It is imposed and presented in the traditional, cultural and customary forms of their inhabitants. We obey him without realizing it every day.
Hasn’t a child of faith ever celebrated Valentine’s Day? Hasn’t a child of faith ever participated in Halloween? Hasn’t a child of faith ever celebrated Christmas, adorned a Christmas tree? Hasn’t he ever marveled at its splendour? All of them are pagan festivals, originated on the basis of religious, magical, Gnostic and esoteric rituals. Apostate rituals, by all means, that defiles the spirituality of the children of light.
It is the spirit of the world that has established rulership over entire generations of “born-again,” but they have not visualized the satanic web under which they have submitted themselves by practicing all these pagan traditions.
Consider, for example, the presence of Cupid on Valentine’s Day, the god of desire within Greco-Roman mythology. The observance of this date by a son of light allows the spirit of fornication that operates under this pagan god to enter into his marriage, or into his courtship.
The same thing happens with Christmas. A festivity that does not represent the real date of the birth of Jesus, but that imposes the presence of a shady tree under which gifts are placed that come from the tutelage of a magical personage. Both proscribed in the Scriptures:
He also sacrificed, and burned perfumes on the high places, and on the hills, and under every shady tree. II Kings 16:4
And statues and forests were set up on every high hill, and under every shady tree, II Kings 17:10
Enflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of the rocks? Isaiah 57:5
When we become aware of our traditions and routines, we discover how swamped our lives are with the influence of the spirit of the world. The apostle John identifies the presence of the spirit of the world in all areas of human endeavor:
For all that is in the (spirit of 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. 1st. john 2:16
The wisdom of a son of light is to discern how much of what we are required to do on a daily basis is influenced by the spirit of the world because although we have pointed out two popular festivals as an example, it is not the only pagan festivities we have to take care of.
Daily activities, folk expressions, business, can be contracts of defilement with the spirit of the world, and it can grant the legal right to the kingdom of darkness to trap and force a child of light to be subject to its jurisdiction.
Business-expression coined to emphasize an “idol-worship” product, is not only advertising slogans, or jingles, on the lips of a son of light are constituted in contracts of servitude and slavery.
Some may remember, some years ago, a cough syrup where the mom in front of her child in bed said to him: – (the mark of the syrup) and I, we take care of you. An ingenuous phrase perhaps, but lethal spiritually, because it diverts the attention from Who really takes care of a child of light.
TV or radio programs, variety shows, conversational interviews, and gossip that coin phrases that eventually become popular expressions; in a son of light these expressions can evoke the spirit that gave life to the program.
In Puerto Rico, it was popular the show SuperXclusivo that was maintained for 13 consecutive years, where its main character, a human doll, focused on ridiculing celebrities and popular figures, coined the expression: -throw it into the air, (something like, expose to the public opinion). People would be surprised how many children of light that had integrated that expression into their language, and even quote them within churches.
That expression evoked gossip, and gave rights to the spirit of the world to operate in its bosom. Now possibly we would understand the reason why within many congregations of faith there grew gossip and mocking the misfortunes of others.
Possibly even reading this publication there are those who believe, naively, that the approaches presented incur in religious fanaticism. There is a reality that we cannot ignore, the spirit of the world has taken hold within communities of faith, and this has caused a spiritual relaxation, leading many to classify the bad as good, and the good as bad.
It becomes necessary, urgent, imperative, that communities of faith awaken from spiritual lethargy, that we can see the sadness of our situation of estrangement and apostasy, that we return to the Word and live it, that we renounce the paganism of our customs and repent , so that the restoration predicted by the prophets of ancient times and preached by the first apostles may come in our time.
May the merciful God revive his work in us, make the enlightened shine, and from among the dry bones he may resurrect his army.
Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 1st. John 5:5
Pastor Pedro Montoya
Tel Cell. (407) 764-2699