Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., Pastor, Grace Bible Church of Costa Mesa, California
Copyright © 1995-2014 Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., All Rights Reserved
God's standards for maturity and qualification for blessing are the same for every believer. These standards are often difficult for most believers to accept. These standards are absolute and fair. They are not based on emotions or the arrogance of legalism. They are perfect standards based on the perfect essence of God. It is blind arrogance for any Christian to assume that he has received what no other believer has or that he has some special experience, or that his life is more important than any others.
Signs of Blind Arrogance
The sin of blind arrogance comes in many forms. Below are only few of the manifestations of blind arrogance. While the spiritually maturing believer will observe these signs of blind arrogance in others, those under blind arrogance never seem to know they are blind to their carnal activity. This is only one of the many reasons for Gods mandate for consistent daily intake and application of the Word of God. The filling of the Spirit keeps the believer from arrogance and under the modus operandi of Gods plan for their lives.
1. Legalism is a manifestation of blind arrogance. The three main categories of legalism can be seen as salvation by works, spirituality by works, and spiritual maturity by works.
2. Emotional arrogance is can be blind arrogance. This is exhibited by the Charismatics (Pentacostals) who associate spiritual advance with an obsolete spiritual gift known as tongues.
3. The self-centered arrogance is a sign of blind arrogance. Here, believers assume their lives, activities, or options are more important than those of anyone else.
4. It is blind arrogance to assume that the plan of God stands or falls on the basis of your behavior.
5. Another manifestation of blind arrogance is the belief that the plan of God stands on any believer.
6. It is blind arrogance for a person to establish standards contrary to the Word of God and to then comply with those standards. In so doing, they often assume they are a great believer.
7. Another sign of blind arrogance is the assumption that any type of kindness or friendliness from the opposite sex means that person is madly in love with you.
8. It is blind arrogance to assume that a few dates mean a declaration of love or a silent agreement to marriage.
9. It is blind arrogance to attempt to superimpose your enthusiasm on others who are not interested and to judge them falsely with harsh criticism for not sharing your enthusiasm.
Peter answered him, "We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?" (Matthew 19:27)
Illustrations of Blind Arrogance
1. The First Will Be Last and the Last First
But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. (Matthew 19:30)
The first who are really last, are Christians guilty of blind arrogance. They are last for blessing in time, and last for reward in eternity. The last who are really first are those Christians with maximized doctrine in their souls. These believers have great humility and grace orientation. They are moving toward spiritual maturity, and will enjoy blessing in time and rewards in eternity. Therefore, the first who are guilty of blind arrogance live most of their lives under the influence of Satan's cosmic system of evil. The last who are really first are those Christians who live most of their lives under the influence of Bible doctrine metabolized in their souls.
2. Labor Unions
"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. "About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' So they went. "He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?' (Matthew 20:1-6)
Labor union workers are illustrated in Matthew 20:1-6. They have bargained with the land owner for a day's wages and they have a union contract for that day. Therefore, they were under contract to management. The land owner (capitalist) needed more labor, so he went out and hired non-union labor. Why? Management invests the money and makes the policies. Labor does not dictate to management under divine establishment principles. It was the policy of this capitalist (land owner) to hire all the non-union labor he could find and to treat them right. Under the Laws of Divine Establishment, capitalists (those who put up the money) and management have the sole right to make policy for their business. Neither government nor labor has any right to make policy under free enterprise nor to dictate policy to business.
Note that the non-union labor did not bargain with management, but left it up to the discretion of management as to what they should receive for that day's work or part of a days work. The spiritual application here involves the understanding that the actions of the labor unions in this example are like those of a legalistic and blindly arrogant believer. In this example, the actions of non-union labor are like those of a grace orientated believer operating with genuine grace humility.
3. The Influence of Cosmic System Evil
About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?' "'Because no one has hired us,' they answered. "He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.' "When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.' "The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.' "But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?' "So the last will be first, and the first will be last." (Matthew 20:6-16)
Rewards for believers in eternity depend on the policy of God, not the arrogance, legalistic, and man-centered standards of cosmic evil and blind fundamentalism. God does not bless the believer in time nor reward the believer in eternity on the basis of the arrogant standards of cosmic evil. Arrogance is always critical of grace. When arrogance becomes critical of grace, it is under the evil of Satan's cosmic system.
The "first" are those under the influence of cosmic system evil and have blind arrogance. The "last" are those under the influence of maximum metabolized Bible doctrine in the soul. They have true grace orientation to life. Therefore, they have true humility. The "last" are those spiritually mature Christians who avoided the influence of cosmic system evil in their lives. They will be "first" in heaven which means they will be first in blessings and rewards.
4. Blind Arrogance Within Families
Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!" Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. "What is it you want?" he asked. She said, "Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom." "You don't know what you are asking," Jesus said to them. "Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?" "We can," they answered. Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father." When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave--just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:17-28)
People can be predisposed to blind arrogance from observing and learning from their parents teaching and actions. For example, in Matthew 20:20-21 the mother of the sons of Zebedee (the apostles James and John) suggested to Jesus Christ that her sons be seated on His right and left in His kingdom. These apostles and their mother Salome are arrogant at this point and very legalistic.
The baptism of the cup is the cross where Jesus Christ is going to provide salvation. Neither James nor John could provide salvation on the cross. They could not die for the sins of the world as per the baptism of the cup just stated. If man can do anything to provide salvation, then there is no salvation. Man can appropriate salvation by faith in Christ. But man cannot provide salvation by being judged on the cross. Only the God-man - Jesus Christ can do that and he is absolutely unique. Only a perfect man can provide salvation on the cross, hence the impeccability of our Lord Jesus Christ. Bind arrogance is a combination of the sin of pride plus evil thinking from the cosmic system. Evil thinking from the cosmic system, is any thought pattern contrary to grace, establishment, and doctrine.
5. Mob Action
As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. (Matthew 20:29)
Mobs cannot think, cannot reason, cannot accomplish any thing worthwhile in life. Mobs are the historical illustration of mass blind arrogance. Mobs are the opposite of the Laws of Divine Establishment, by which we have our freedom. Mobs destroy freedom, privacy, property, and hinder spiritual growth. Mobs are anti-authority, anti-discipline, anti-establishment, anti-revivals. You cannot have mobs and have any kind of revival.
The mob of Matthew 20:29 was typical. It was a case of people sticking their noses into someone else's business - a typical violation of freedom and the privacy of the two blind men. The doctrine of the long nose is a hindrance to spiritual growth. Nosy people who invade our privacy are retrogressive and are influenced by cosmic evil and guilty of blind arrogance. This mob was guilty of blind arrogance. The two blind men have not gained the approval of the mob, and that speaks well of them. The mob is very antagonistic. If the judgment of the mob had prevailed, these two blind men would have been ignored.
Following Christ Frees You from Blind Arrogance
As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!" The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!" Jesus stopped and called them. "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked. "Lord," they answered, "we want our sight." Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him. (Matthew 20:29-34)
To follow Christ originally is to believe in Him for salvation. To follow Christ as a Christian, is to be faithful in the daily study of the Lord of God. There is only one way to follow Christ after regeneration. That is to be consistent in the intake of doctrine, day by day. Once the Christian matures spiritually, he is free from the influence of cosmic-system evil, which means he is free from blind arrogance. The mature believer fulfills the phrase which appears twice in the context of Matthew 19:27 through 20:34. The phrase is 'The last shall be first;' first in the sense of blessing in time, and reward in eternity. The mature believer is first for blessing in time and first for rewards in eternity. Whereas the first (as in these passages from Matthew) is under blind arrogance. Last for blessing in time and last for reward in eternity. And last means nothing at all.