Psalm 24:1. The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
The earth (Hebrew ‘erets) is the ‘dry land’ of creation when God gathered together the waters after establishing a firmament, or atmosphere above the waters. This earth is most important for mankind as God’s Providence for all creation that ‘has breath’.
The world (Hebrew tebel) is derived from the word yabal, to bring forth, or flow out. The world consists of all that man has brought forth from his ‘imagination’, and the influence of angelic beings and other spiritual powers.
The world is at odds with the Will of God in countless ways, especially in regard to the impact it has on the earth and its ability to provide for all creation. For the children of God to understand the need to ‘overcome the world’, they must also understand the world as the habitation for multitudes of spirits that are contrary to the Spirit of Truth.
Ephesians 6:12. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
The Promise of the Holy Spirit
John 14:15-17. If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he abides with you, and will be in you.
Only by abiding in the promise of the Father can a child of God hope to overcome the world. In the book of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, Jesus delivers seven messages to seven elect churches in Asia Minor. Each of these messages concludes with promises from the Holy Spirit for those who hear in the churches, and overcome the world. This must be emphasized!
The promises are not given to those who simply believe, but are for those who overcome.
God’s Spiritual Provision
The Holy Spirit is God’s Provision for our spirit, to overcome the spirit of the world.
1 Corinthians 2:12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (meaning examined).
We cannot rightly discern good and evil by the knowledge of good and evil. We must discern the spirit, and the commendation of the Holy Spirit. It is not just the deed that establishes the good, but the spirit in which it was done. The intentions of man’s desires corrupts virtue.
2 Peter 1:3, 4. According as his divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by selfish desire.
We are born from above and receive from the Spirit that we may live not only by good deeds, but under the direction of God’s Will, with pure intent.
1 Peter 4:1, 2. Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the desires of men, but to the will of God.
John 7:17. Anyone whose will is to do His will, shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God.
Hebrews 5:11-15. We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
The spirit of the world dwells in every source of knowledge and information. Contemporary religious doctrine is contaminated by academic beliefs and traditions of men, even as in the time of Christ in “the fullness of time”.
Colossians 2:8. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
1 John 4:1-4. Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby we know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
The Spirit brings Deliverance
Romans 8:27. Now He who searches the heart knows the mind of the Spirit, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Ephesians 2:1-5. (The Message translation.) It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing whatever we feel like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ.
The Spirit provides correction in righteousness, to avoid the ways of the world that are an offence to God.
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Matthew 18:6, 7. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence comes!
Isaiah 26:9. With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when Thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
1 Corinthians 11:32. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
You must be born from above by the Spirit of Truth
John 8:23. Jesus said unto them, You are from beneath; I am from above: you are of this world; I am not of this world.
1 John 5:4, 5. For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
The power to overcome begins with this true confession of faith, and continues as we walk in the Spirit, the light of Life.
Revelation 12:11. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Revelation 21:7. Those who overcome shall inherit all things; and I will be their God, and they shall be my offspring.
John 16:33. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.