The MONSTER That Runs The World
By Fred Pruitt
(An excerpt from On Earth As It Is In Heaven)
He brings in “the law” again at this point, and we need to understand what is going on. Though many folks just “recoil” at the word “law,” as if it itself is a dirty word, Paul goes to great pains here to declare God’s law just and good. There is nothing wrong with the law, he says. When he says he delights in the law after the inward man, it is simply the cry of the inward man who finds himself frustrated, wanting to do God’s will, to manifest the Spirit, to love and not possessively covet, but in the end, though he desires it with everything within himself, he cannot find the means to overcome that which keeps knocking him down – the “mind set on the flesh.” What Paul takes some time to realize, is that this “mind set on the flesh” does not originate in himself, but in the intruder! (Just as he also finds out, that the “delight in the law after the inward man” is likewise not originated in himself, but in the Spirit within!)
That is the cause of the flesh vs. spirit conflict at this juncture. It is an intruder, one who secretly insinuated himself into the inner life of Adam and Eve, and from then on in all their progeny. The “trick” he played was, he himself was the fruit of the forbidden tree! It was this hidden indweller that Adam and Eve consumed, took into themselves, who brought the one lie in which all humanity has lived since, the lie of independent self – MONSTER-self!!! The lie that we are each little separate “islands” of self, each intact and whole in ourselves, and running our own lives, whether we do good or evil – basically, we believe we are the “gods” of our own universe. We relate everything that happens in the world, from the standpoint of ourselves as the universal reference center. From its start in the Garden, this Mystery Babylon has become a great tree the world over.
What is Mystery Babylon? It is the false tree of the false god, Satan, the tree of rebellious self-consumed-with-itself, this very MONSTER SELF, which is at the bottom of all things in the world.
It manifests everywhere in everything, yet it is none of them, because it is spirit.
It is not religion, though it is one of its most insidious creations, and it does some of its best work there.
It is not legalism, though it holds a special place in its heart.
It is not political wickedness and self-interest, and yet it is.
It is not racial prejudice, or racial tolerance, though it does a good job on each side.
It is not right or left-wing politics, nor even the in-betweens, but they all pay it the greatest homage.
It is not the world financial system or the greed that keeps it going, but it works its purposes perfectly.
It has nothing to do with any system of eschatology, though it dearly loves to stir that pot.
Mystery Babylon is not embodied particularly in any one system, party, cause, crusade, war, organization, government, philosophy, doctrine, church, business, nation, state, province, city, town or village. It has no central organization and yet is entwined in everything in the world. It cannot be pinned down to any one specific place or person, except that its only real and actual embodiment is independent self-relying, self-deifying MONSTER SELF! It is the image of the Beast! It is this and this alone that has given rise to every evil there has ever been on the earth.
That is why there is no solution in any of the aforementioned systems or institutions, beliefs, agencies or doctrines. Destroy an organization that seems to represent it, yet it lives on. The reason is because Mystery Babylon is that which gives rise to the false Tower of the Babel of human co-misunderstanding (where not one person understands another in their separated self-protective independent existence), producing continuous roiling worldwide conflict (starting in every home – “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?” [James 4:1]) – but it is not the Tower itself. Tear down one Tower, and Mystery Babylon lives on! In fact, it expands exponentially when attacked only through its manifestations, because people foolishly think if they get rid of the offending manifestation, they have killed the weed. It simply retreats from that manifestation and goes on to others, even more secret and insidious than before.
The Apostle John wrote, “The whole world lies in the power of the wicked one,” (1 John 5:19 NASB). That is quite a statement, and not one tossed around too much in respectable circles. Let us be frank. The greatest feat evil can pull off in our world, is to appear to be the greatest good, or to propagate a belief that it does not exist. It does not need to acquire religion or institutions or governments or media or anything else. It already has them well in hand, right, left and in-between. It is represented in every place in every activity of man, by the seemingly innocuous, not-so-harmful-looking, often quite respectable and well-liked, false identity of self-independence, self-reliance, self-focus, self-for-ME.
Its spirit is in every one of us, until the Cross. It has been hidden to us in our deception of independence. We all think we’re a pretty good self, for the most part, though some become engrossed in a sick manner with how corrupted they are. Either way, the focus is “me,” whether a good me or a bad me, but “me.” Since this false spirit hides its own identity or sense of its presence to us, most of us have no idea that we were all, before the Cross entered our individual lives, raging dark monsters in our innermost recesses, seeking only for ourselves.
Its spirit will give us any face, or have us assume any behavior, to suit its ends – it will be the most respectable self-effacing philanthropist and champion of the underdog, if it suits it. Or it may become a Hitler in unrestrained evil, if it suits it. It is a malevolent evil, that hides itself, fooling men that it does not exist, or if it does, it comes in little parodies of itself, like the Faust dilemma, repeated endlessly in literature and visual arts, of selling one’s soul to the devil. It’s a big laugh because he already owns them! That includes “nice” people as well as plainly “wicked” people.
This is not a popular truth. But it is the truth. It still holds sway with the whole world, and all the kings of the earth and all the merchants of the earth have all their trade in it. (Don’t look to great human Kings or worldwide Entrepreneurs for this – the kings and merchants of the earth are you and I.)
This is what runs the whole world, at least in a surface way. (God is still working all things after the counsel of His own will, let us remember. And by “world” in this instance I am meaning human culture in our present time.) What runs the world? Uncrucified, unsanctified, ungodly, self-for-self self, runs the world, and the entire human race knows it! It gets along and keeps going by self-interest cooperating with self-interest, a “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” philosophy. For the moment, it is ordained to be this way, and God keeps a handle on it through His ministers, often unknowing that they are, that govern and police the world through human agencies of governments, police and armed forces, because even though the “good” of the world is often a false good, it still behooves the Lord God to continually demonstrate the triumph of good over evil, through the parable that is our lost (for the moment) world. Because God IS Good, and there is no evil in Him. This is another way the Lord calls His sheep to Himself.
And though the good in the world is not an ultimate good, and may come from the actions of those who have questionable motivations, still we cannot deny or speak badly of a temporal “good.” Human civilization, at least appearance-wise, has come a long way in 6,000 or so years of recorded history. It is no longer acceptable for one nation to invade another, just because it is more powerful and it feels like taking it for itself. It is no longer acceptable to most people of the world that it is right that we “own” other human beings, and have a right to treat them as beasts and use them for whatever our fancies desire. The “advances” in civilization are too numerous to mention, and we applaud every one of them! I’m glad I can cover more miles than the Apostle Paul did in his whole career, with just one car ride with John Bunting! These things, while products of a fallen world, are still the opening of the wonders of God in creation, which is endless, even in this fallen creation.
But the other aspect of this world, is that no matter how far it seems to progress, it still seems stuck in some things that have so far proven to be impossible to overcome. No completion – ever – in sight! Though peace movements have come and gone through the centuries, and I was involved in the last major one, war has continued and even proliferated. Contrary to the hopes of some, the Berlin Wall coming down, though just magnificent and glorious in the moments we saw on television, when the power of communism was broken in east Germany, which almost seemed to herald world peace, did not give us world peace. We come to realize the advances, political, scientific, social, etc., in the world, while not to be discounted, never affect the “world” at its core. Wars may be fought and won for the most just of issues. Yet MONSTER-SELF reigns!
How can I say that? Because it is obvious. Who of us really believes they are telling the truth, when a certain company says in their advertisements, “We do it all for you?” Or the bank that advertises they have the friendliest tellers, or the hospital that says they fix hearts better than the hospital down the street. We all take it in stride, know its a big pack of lies all out for our money or our loyalty, etc., that it is not for “us” they do it, but for them!
It’s like a game of sorts. Everybody knows the score. We know they’re not really “for” us, they just want our dollars, but, in the game, if they can convince us they have the best “appearance” of being “for us,” then we’ll give them our business, or buy their Big Burgers. They know it, we know it, and we all play the game, and keep everybody’s “face” non-humiliated by the truth.
Same thing in politics the world over, and has been for all time, with a few highlights here and there. In the US, it is interesting to listen to the commentary of the news people when speaking of some decision or move the President makes or is expected to make, etc., how they say things like, “Well, this is really a time the President (doesn’t matter which one) really needs to look ‘presidential,’ so we’ll see if he says the right things to give us that impression.” And we all buy that, too! Part of the political ballgame, part of the rules. One plays to a false image, created to gain the trust of the people. And we all know what they are doing, because the TV commentary tells us in plain words: “They’re trying to fit their ‘image’ to attract (fill-in-the-blank)______ voters.” (Is there something wrong with me, or does that sound completely convoluted?) Whichever one can put over the best image, whether there is any truth to it or not, usually wins. P.T. Barnum was right. We’re all born suckers! How can I say that? Because if you look into my pantry or examine other things I possess, most of them will be things advertised on television! I’m wise to their ways, ha ha, but I have their products in my home!
What is this thing, this snake, that has entwined itself into all corners of humanity, to whom the whole world gives homage every day? It is that SNAKE of monster self, that hides behind everything, ruling in everyone not wise to it and delivered from it, whispering in everyone’s ear, telling one he is good, and another he is evil.
That is why Jesus Christ is the only remedy. If it was just ignorance, the Son could have stayed in heaven and just sent great teachers and wise men and given us the message. If it was just a matter of forgiveness only, that, too, was already taken care of. From eternity God has said, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made white as snow.” (Isaiah 1:18). But forgiveness does not do it either. There must be a new spirit. We have been invaded by a false spirit who has deceived us at every turn about everything there is. That is the state of the human race. Nothing will do except that the false spirit is removed, to be replaced by the True Spirit, making us part of the True Vine! Nothing will do except the new birth, without which no one shall see God.
But the wonderful news is, all it takes is to gaze at the snake for a moment in its defeated condition, and there everything is settled in that moment! Jesus spoke of it to Nicodemus, when He recalled, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.” (John 3:14). He is referring to the story in Numbers 21: 6-9):
“And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.”
It is a gift of grace, but it is not automatic that we receive it. The people only had to look upon it. Paul says we are saved by grace through faith, not merely grace alone. Grace is the extended gift of God, whereas faith is the open hand to receive it into us, which also comes by grace. That is all it is, quite simple, not a “work,” but the law of the universe, expressed a hundred ways in scripture – “Take, eat, this is my body,” (Mark 14:22); “Receive ye the Holy Spirit,” (John 20:22). Look what it says in Revelation:
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev 22:17).
Three simple things.
1 – Come.
2 – Take it.
3 – Eat it or drink it. At that point it becomes you and you become it.