Chains of Darkness
In Genesis 1:2 it is written, the earth was formless and void, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water.M35 From my perspective six things are being said, and a lot of things appear to be happening in between them.
- The fact the earth was formless.
- It was void.
- The thing called the deep, and it had a surface.
- Darkness was over or covering something.
- There was water.
- The Spirit of God was moving over the water.
To make a long story short we can see that the earth went from formless and void, to having something called the deep, and then having water, followed by the movement of the Spirit of God.
It’s like bullet points to a story, with all the interesting things in between saved for discovery. If people can’t find the time to read the Bible cover to cover, could you imagine if the entire story was written out, or even full-length movies made? It would take a long, long time to go through eternity.
The good news is that we have eternity to look through eternity. God truly is amazing and has made sure we can never be bored.
I’m going to start with the first statement made “formless.” Formless is a fascinating thing to say about the earth, and that makes it important. It is the first of two words that describe the condition of the earth. Before we get to the second word, let us first understand the meaning of the word formless.
What’s interesting is that the word formless in Hebrew is ṯō-hū, and it means formlessness, confusion, unreality, emptiness.R1
With that we could say the earth was in confusion, empty an unreality. Let’s dig a little deeper into this.
In Greek formless is ámorfosR2 and the word morphéR3 is to take form.
The Greek words are opposites and if you spend some time looking at those words, you will see their similarity. When something begins to take form from formlessness, it morphs into something.
If we keep investigating this word and look at how Merriam-Webster defines formless, we find that formless means, having no regular shape, lacking order or arrangement and having no physical existence.MW5
Based on that we could say the earth had no regular shape, it lacked order and had no physical existence.
The only problem with that statement is the word between formless and void; that word is “and.”
“And” is a conditional statement, what I mean by that is, the earth was not formless or void. The earth was both formless and void.
I think it’s important to understand the meaning of the word void now. Merriam-Webster defines void as having no legal force or effect, not containing anything, nor occupied, not inhabited and being without something.MW4
So it would now mean that the earth had no regular shape, it lacked order, had no physical existence, had no legal force, did not contain anything, was not occupied or inhabited and was without something.
If we give this some consideration, there are things beings said that make sense. If we were to say that the earth was formless and void, then the above makes absolute sense.
Here again is the problem, the statement did not end there. What’s said is that the earth was formless and void, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water.
Cleary the earth was not empty because darkness was there, the deep was there, the surface was there, the Spirit of God was there and not to mention water.
Think about this for a minute.
Let’s use an analogy to comprehend what’s being said.
It’s like saying we have a formless and void water glass that has water in it.
I don’t know about you, but you can’t have something that is formless and void and yet contains water which in and of itself is formless.
What’s being said makes no sense because the water glass (earth) can’t be formless and have something like water that requires a container to exist.
Therefore, if the earth was the container for water how can it be formless?
The next logical argument would be it had some shape, and the shape was not earth like. But then I would have to say a shape is a shape, and something with a shape no matter how it looks is not formless, it is a distorted shape.
If you ever did a bit of software programming, one of the most used common logic condition is called the “IF, THEN, ELSE” statement. What this statement does, is it checks a value based on something you specified, and if it’s correct, it returns a TRUE value, if not it returns a FALSE value.
The formula would look something like this:
IF “earth” = “formless” AND “void”, THEN “TRUE”, ELSE “FALSE.”
For the above logical statement to be true, it has to be both “formless” AND “void”. If it’s only “formless”, then it’s FALSE, if it’s only “void” then it is also FALSE.
This brings us back to the original question how can the earth be formless and void?
Now let’s look at all the combined meanings for formless and void that would make the statement of the earth being formless and void true.
No regular shape (formless), it lacked order (formless), had no physical existence (formless), had no legal force (void), did not contain anything (void), was not occupied or inhabited (void) and was without something (void).
To make this easier let’s identify the words that hold true no matter the argument.
- Lacked order (formless)
- No legal force (void)
- Without something (void)
I’m going to list why I believe the other meanings do not apply.
“No regular shape.” What does regular mean?
A circle, square or triangle?
Regular is a definition to describe something that is common. The earth was not common.
Next, let’s look at “had no physical existence.” It had to have some physical existence for water to exist in it. I would like to state that physical is another definition we use today to define something that can be touched.
We also have this definition, “did not contain anything.” The earth held water. Therefore, it contained something.
Next, on the list is, “was not occupied or inhabited.” It had darkness and the Spirit of God.
What this leaves us with is that the earth lacked order, had no legal force and was without something.
THE EARTH LACKED ORDER,
HAD NO LEGAL FORCE
AND WAS WITHOUT SOMETHING
Isn’t that an unusual statement, the earth lacked order, had no legal force and was without something. In 1 Corinthians 14:33 (NIV) it is written that; God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.N2
Because the earth was formless as it lacked order and void as it had no legal force, and was without something. Darkness was over the surface of the deep. The Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water to restore order out of chaos.
How did darkness get upon the earth?
Before we go there let’s first read something interesting that the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 2:5-8 where he uses two very similar but opposite meaning words, “form” and “emptied.”
Let this mind be in you all, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. But He emptied Himself, taking upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in the form of a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.M36
And in Matthew 6:24 it says, “No one can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.M37
Here Jesus talks about choosing which master you want to serve, God or Money?
But it also tells you that you are not a master, there is only one master, and you are the servant. So likewise Jesus had to choose, and He chose to empty Himself so He could change form.
From being in the form of the “master” to becoming the form of the “servant”.
I hope you realize how important that statement is and the gravity of the choice that was made. There is also a lot to be said and understood about the words He “emptied” Himself. How can someone empty himself?
Let us use an analogy of a wine bottle. When we empty a wine bottle of wine, we still have the wine bottle, and you have to put the wine somewhere.
We get a clue to understanding this statement in Luke 4:1. Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.M38
What we learn from that verse is that Jesus was full or filled with the Holy Spirit. So when Paul said He emptied himself, He would have to empty Himself of the Holy Spirit.
I hope the last line made a light bulb go on in your head. It did for me. You see when Jesus was in the form of God; He was one with God and one with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, when He emptied Himself to take the shape or form of man, He emptied Himself of the Holy Spirit. Here is where the Trinity comes in. You have God (Father), Jesus (Son) from God and the Holy Spirit from Jesus.
Powerful isn’t it?
That is the power of the Word, the power of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. For the power of the Word is liberty which is freedom and in 2 Corinthians 3:17 it says, the Lord is the Spirit. And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.M39
THE LORD IS THE SPIRIT AND WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS, THERE IS LIBERTY
When we allow our liberties to be taken away from us, what we are permitting to be taken away from us is the Spirit of the Lord.
Likewise, when we allow our liberties to be taken away from us, we are allowing out rights to be taken away from our land, and that means we have indirectly also permitted the Spirit of the Lord to be taken away from our land and country.
The question that remains is why did Jesus empty Himself and change from one form to another?
The answer to that would be like saying a wine bottle filled with wine, emptied itself of wine so that it could change from being a wine bottle to a wine glass.
It looks like Jesus did something similar in John 2:1-11 at the wedding in Cana.
On the third day, there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there. Both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”
Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
Six water pots made of stone were sitting there, used for ceremonial cleansing by the Jews, containing twenty to thirty gallons each.
Jesus said to them, “Fill the water pots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.
Then He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the master of the feast.”
And they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water that had been turned into wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who drew the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom, and he said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and after men have drunk freely, then the poor wine is served. But you have kept the good wine until now.”
This, the first of His signs, Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and He revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.M40
Isn’t that a beautiful story, and it illustrates something amazing. I’m going to go through it verse by verse so we can see the significance of what was said and done.
John 2:1. On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there.M41
The first thing that starts to jump out at me are the words on the “third day” and it reminds me of the phrase in Luke 18:33, they will scourge Him and put Him to death, and on the third day He will rise again.M42
These words “on the third day He will rise again” may seem unrelated at first, but as you keep reading the wedding at Cana story, you will recognize a clear pattern of events.
It then goes on to say in John 2:1 that “the mother of Jesus was there.” In Matthew 28:1-10, at the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.
And then there was a great earthquake. For the angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone from the door and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his garments white as snow. The soldiers shook for fear of him and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid. For I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. For He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead, and indeed, He is going before you to Galilee. There you will see Him. Listen, I have told you.”
So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. As they went to tell His disciples, suddenly Jesus met them, saying, “Greetings!” They came and took hold of His feet and worshipped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell My brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”M43
Now you may say that this wasn’t the same Mary, and this wasn’t the mother of Jesus. However we have to remember the words spoken by Jesus as recorded in Mark 3:31-35, then His mother and His brothers came, and standing outside, they sent to Him, calling Him. The crowd sat around Him and said to Him, “Your mother and Your brothers are outside asking for You.”
He answered, “Who are My mother and My brothers?”
Then He looked around at those who sat around Him and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God is My brother, and My sister, and My mother.”M44
The next verse in John 2:2 also tells of what was and what is to come.
Both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding.M45
I don’t know about you, but the words invited to the wedding, reminds me of Revelation 19:6-9 which is an important verse because it gives some context as to Jesus and His disciples being invited.
Before we look at the words written in Revelation, let us remember two important things, the first is that those that are invited are blessed, and second, the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
In addition, let us also not forget the deeds of the saints that do the same works, as Jesus asked of His disciples in Matthew 28:19-20.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.M46
Now let’s look at the words in Revelation 19:6-9.
Then I heard something like the sound like a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying: “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!
Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.
It was granted her to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white.”
Fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
Then he said to me, “Write: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”M47
Powerful words, and to think this is only the second verse of the story. Now let’s look at John 2:3-5.
When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”
Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”M48
These few verses remind me of the story in 1 Samuel 16:14-23 about when David serves Saul.
Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and an evil spirit from the Lord terrified him.
So the servants of Saul said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God troubles you. Let our lord now tell your servants, who are before you, that they might seek out a man experienced in playing the lyre. And it will come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is on you, that he will play with his hand, and you will be well.”
Saul said to his servants, “Find me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me.”
Then one from the servants answered, and said, “I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is experienced in playing music, a mighty man of valor, a man of battle, and skillful in words, even a man of fine appearance. And the Lord is with him.”
Therefore, Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.” Jesse took a donkey laden with bread, a bottle of wine, and a young goat and he sent them with his son David to Saul.
David came to Saul, and stood before him. And Saul loved him greatly and he became his armor bearer. Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David stand before me, for he has found favor in my sight.”
It happened that when the evil spirit from God came on Saul, David would take the lyre in his hand and play. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. M49
If you pay very close attention to the case of the letters you will notice that the evil spirit is written with a lowercase “s” and the Spirit of the Lord is written with a capital “S”. This is how you can tell that there are two different spirits.
In this story, the wine represents the Spirit, and we see how the Spirit of the Lord departed (the wine ran out) of Saul. This story has used an unusual phrase. “See, an evil spirit from God troubles you.”
Towards the end of 1 Samuel 16, an amazing thing that was said is that the son of Jesse had the Lord with him. Why is that important?
Isaiah 61:1 has the answer to that.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor; He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.M50
If you read the first line of that statement again, but slowly you will realize that an important word was used. That word is “because.” Why was the Spirit of the Lord upon David?
Because he was anointed and we can read about that in 1 Samuel 16:10-13.
So Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Are these all your young men?”
And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is shepherding the flock.”
Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him, for we will not sit down until he comes here.”
So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy with beautiful eyes and a good appearance.
And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.”
Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord came on David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.M51
The anointing brings the power of the Spirit of the Lord. You may be asking yourself, what is the difference between the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of the Lord?
They are like different unique descriptions of the same thing. Sort of like in 1 Corinthians 13 where you see what Love is, each one unique, but each description is about love, not separate but unique descriptions of the same thing.
Now we need to remember the verse of Jesus emptying Himself in Philippians 2:5-8 along with these words of 1 Corinthians 12:7-10 and what it teaches before we look at the last verse in 1 Samuel 16 again.
The manifestation of the Spirit is given to everyone for the common good. To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.M52
We can see that the Holy Spirit gives, healing and the ability to distinguish between spirits. So when we look at the last verse, we can see that David, who not only had the Spirit of the Lord with him but also these special gifts of the Holy Spirit, healing, and discernment of spirits.
When the evil spirit from God came on Saul, David would take the lyre in his hand and play. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.M53 This was recorded in 1 Samuel 16:23.
Did you notice that when the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, David could discern that this spirit had come?
He would then begin to play the lyre (a mini harp). Saul never said he was in pain, yet David would play. David knew the spirit had come, and began to play. Then Saul was refreshed, he began to feel well, and the evil spirit departed from him.
Three things happened in a particular order, and it is important to understand these three stages. First, Saul was refreshed, second he began to feel well, and third the evil spirit departed from him.
David played until all three things took place. Today we would stop praying when we feel refreshed.
When we are sick, we continue to pray, until we feel better. We end our prays and forget that we need to continue praying for the third healing which is when the evil spirit that is tormenting us leaves us.
We have to remember in Saul’s case this was his judgment because he was anointed. Even David did not dare hurt Saul as was recorded in 1 Samuel 24:5-7
Afterward, David’s heart troubled him because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him. For he is anointed of the Lord.” So David dispersed his men by these words and did not let them rise against Saul. And Saul arose from the cave and went on his way.M54
This story is where we begin to understand the words in Genesis 1-2, the earth was formless and void, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water.M35
Saul was like the earth, when the Spirit of God departed from him, he was without God, and he was empty which allowed the darkness to enter.
Wondering what darkness mean?
Different words are used to mean different things in the Bible and that makes it tough to understand at times. But in time, when we spend enough time we begin to see the differences. I believe there is a different meaning or message that is being said every time the word darkness is used.
Hell and darkness are two separate things and refer to two different regions so to speak. I’m going to explain this so we can get a better understanding of the meaning of darkness before we begin to understand the meaning of the words surface of the deep.
I’m going to use an analogy of the human body because it works very well and is very representative of the differences between hell and darkness.
For me, the term darkness refers to the mind, and hell refers to the heart. There is something to be said about the attacks of Satan aka Lucifer, helel, brightness, morning star, star of the morning, bright star, Day Star, son of Dawn.
Satan attacks the mind first and then the heart. If the mind is already weak, then he can attack the heart. Our heart needs to be strong and soft if we are to fight the enemy.
Ephesians 4:18 captures the mind and heart effect very well. Having their understanding darkened, excluded from the life of God through the ignorance that is within them, due to the hardness of their hearts.M55
Now it’s important to understand how the enemy attacks, but it’s important to know where this all started. This information was captured in Ezekiel 28:17 (NIV). Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.N3
Who is the enemy?
We have to learn how to recognize the enemy; that is crucial. Ephesians 6:12 explains this in simple terms. For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.M56
In Ephesians 4:30-32 we are told, do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you are sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outbursts, and blasphemies, with all malice, be taken away from you. And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.M57
Those words of Ephesians 4:30-32 should not be forgotten along with the splendor of God’s grace. Ephesians 1:7 tells us that, in Him we have redemption through His blood and the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace.M58
Once the grace of God which is also the Spirit of God departs from you, you are now open to receive the torments of an evil spirit. Sort of like the story of Job in Job 1:6-12 (NIV). One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”
Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.N4
In this story we see something interesting being said, I’m not sure if you picked up on it. I also did not catch it at first, but when I read it again, something fascinating jumped out at me.
I’m going to start with Job 1:8 (NIV) Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”N5
It says the “LORD” said to Satan; at first that doesn’t jump out at you, but if you read the entire verse very slowly you will notice something towards the end, it says a man who fears “God” and shuns evil.
Did you pick up on it?
The clue was in the word God. If I were god speaking to Satan, I would have ended that verse like this, a man who fears “me” and shuns evil.
Clearly it wasn’t God who was speaking to Satan; it was Jesus. Even before Jesus came to be flesh, He was involved in the lives of His servants. For it states that Jesus asks Satan if he considered His servant Job. That is why when Jesus came to earth, it is written He took the form of a servant.
Now do you understand why the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness? When the devil tempted Job, Jesus had to remove the hedge He had placed over Job.
In the wilderness, Jesus was there without the hedge. It is this reason that Satan came as the tempter and said the following to Jesus in Matthew 4:3-4.
And the tempter came to Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones be turned into bread.”
But He answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” M59
In continues in Matthew 4:6-10, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written, ‘He shall give His angels charge concerning you,’ and ‘In their hands they shall lift you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus said to him, “It is also written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”
Again, the devil took Him up on a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their grandeur, and said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Get away from here, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.’”M60
I would recommend you read Mathew 4, and Job 1 a few times and you will be amazed at the parallels. The important thing to realize is that only when the hedge is removed, does Satan have the ability to enter.
Sometimes we need to ask ourselves how did Satan get the ability to enter our lives. Is it because of something we did or are we being tested and refined by God, for in Job 5:17 (NIV) it says, blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.N6
I want to highlight that there is something fascinating that is being said in Job 5, and before we look at each one of those verses, I want to point out three more important points we have to remember at all times. We should always remember to refer back to these three points when things begin to happen to us, that is upsetting and emotionally draining.
Point 1 – Job 5:17 (NIV)
Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.N6
Point 2 – Romans 8:28
We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.M61
Point 3 – 1 Peter 1:7
In order that the genuineness of your faith, which is more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tried by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.M62
We go through all this so our faith can be truly tested. It’s always easier to say you would do something, but that changes quickly when you’re actually going through it. It reminds me of reports you hear from people who have been tortured. Many of them said, that despite the fact that they would tell them what they wanted to hear the pain would not stop. Sometimes in life, we go through our own kind of pain, and it only stops when we have the strength of faith.
Understanding the power of faith is vital; it is the key to freeing ourselves from the torments of these evil spirits. We always have to remember who our enemy is, as documented in Ephesians 6:12.
For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.M63
We need to fight the evil spiritual forces, but we can’t do it if our faith is weak. Do you remember what Jesus did in Matthew 17:18-20?
Jesus rebuked the demon, and he came out of him. And the child was healed instantly.
Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast him out?”
Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief. For truly I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. And nothing will be impossible for you.M64
In the words of Jesus, His disciples did not have enough belief in their faith. Their faith was smaller than a mustard seed. For those of you who are not aware of how big a mustard seed is, it is about 1 to 2 millimeters (0.039 to 0.079 inches) in diameter.R4
It was the faith God had in His Son, that Jesus in Philippians 2:5-8, who being in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. But He emptied Himself, taking upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in the form of a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.M65
If we go back to the words Jesus said in John 2:4-5, “Woman, what does this have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”M66
I’m sure many of you must we wondering why Jesus would say, Woman! I don’t think anybody would say that to his mother. Jesus said that to make a point. He made the point by saying My hour has not yet come.
I know many of you would be thinking, what does Jesus calling her woman have to do with Him saying My time has not yet come. The point was, what Mary was asking Jesus to do was not the will of God and since it was not the will of God he could not call her mother. We understand this from Matthew 12:46-50.
While He was still speaking to the people, right then His mother and His brothers stood outside asking to speak with Him. Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside asking to speak with You.”
But He answered the man who told him, “Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?” He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven is My brother, and sister, and mother.”M67
We have to be doing the will of God and just like the servants whatever He says to you, do it, so you can be called the brother, or sister or mother of Jesus.
If you read the last line carefully, you would have noticed, He had brother, sister, and mother, but He left out father. The reason for this is captured in Matthew 23:9 And call no man on earth your father, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.M68
Likewise, in Matthew 23:8 Jesus says, “But do not be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brothers.M69
What Jesus shares with us is not only significant and humbling but also very true. We are to share with each other what our Teacher (notice the capital letter T) has shared with us and not become a teacher to our brothers.
In John 2:6-7 (NIV) it states that, nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.N7
Did you notice the water jars were not empty but were containing water between twenty to thirty gallons each?
That’s about seventy five to one hundred and fifteen liters. So Jesus told them to fill it with water, and they filled them all up to the brim.
Why fill them to the brim?
Because the water represented the Holy Spirit, in John 3:34 it says, for He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without measure to Him.M70
When the jars were filled to the brim, they were filled without measure.
After this in John 2:8-11, He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the master of the feast.”
And they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water that had been turned into wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who drew the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom, and he said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and after men have drunk freely, then the poor wine is served. But you have kept the good wine until now.”
This, the first of His signs, Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and He revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.M71
These verses remind me of the story of Jesus’s death recorded in John 19:28-37 (NIV), where we see the mentioning of the word jar of wine again, and most importantly that when the spear was pierced through Jesus’s side and people saw the flow of blood (wine) and water, they testified so that we can also believe.
Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.
The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.
The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.
These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”N8
Interestingly the words “when He had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit,” is the fulfillment of Philippians 2:5-8 only in reverse.
Let this mind be in you all, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.
But He emptied Himself, taking upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.
And being found in the form of a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.M71
It was at the death on a cross when Jesus emptied himself by giving up His Spirit. After He had done this, He went on to do something that changed the foundations of the earth.
How did Jesus change the very foundations of the earth?
The answer to that is in John 1:29. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.M72
Why was it important to take away the sin of the world?
We often think that the sin of the world is that of Adam, but we forget that there was a sin before Adam.
This is where lies the purpose of God creating the earth, the reason it was formless and void and why darkness was over the surface of the deep.
To understand what I just said, we have to read something interesting that was said in 2 Peter 2:4, God did not spare the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness to be kept for judgment.M73
From 2 Peter 2 we begin to understand one of the ways the earth was used. It is a place where God sends those that have sinned. Later when we look at the story of Adam, these words are going to make a great deal of logical sense to us.
WE NOW BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND ONE OF THE WAYS THE EARTH WAS USED.
IT IS A PLACE WHERE GOD SENDS THOSE THAT HAVE SINNED
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Let’s focus on the word “deep” for a moment, so we can better understand what’s actually being said and we can look at Romans 10:6-7 for insight.
But the righteousness which is based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down), or, ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).M74
The deep is a place where the dead seem to reside. The interesting thing is that there are several locations the dead live. The dead are those that have sinned but have not been judged yet. Think of it as a holding cell, until your court date when you will be judged by the most High.
From my perspective and in reading scripture there appear to be three holding cells for those that have sinned. The first is the surface of the deep that is covered by the waters or the sea, the second is Death and the third is Hades. There is a reason that I don’t believe that Death and Hades are the same places and I’ll talk about it later, but first, let’s look at Revelations 20:11-15
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. From His face the earth and the heavens fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God. Books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. The dead were judged according to their works as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one by his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.M75
A lot of things that are said in these few verses are very absorbing. What they mean and imply is something of great debate. These are few of the things I’ve understood from reading that passage:
- The dead small and great stood before God.
- The dead were judged according to what they did.
- The sea gave up the dead who were in it.
- Death (a place) delivered up the dead who were in it.
- Hades (a place) delivered up the dead who were in it.
- Then Death (an individual) was cast into the lake of fire.
- Then Hades (and individual) was cast into the lake of fire.
- Anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
- The second death is in the lake of fire.
To me, it appears that the word death used in “the second death” means to torment or torture. From my point of view, death does not mean you’re dead and not alive, it means you’re dead and alive, just not in heaven. Sort of like saying you’re going to prison and you’ve got a life sentence without the option of parole. After your physical death, you return to your immortal state and as an immortal being, you can’t actually die. You can either enjoy the glory of heaven or the torment (punishment) that has been reserved.
Hebrews 11:32-40 uses unusual words and when you read it with the above information as the context. You will see these words in a new light, a new revelation from something that has always been there. I think that is the most beautiful part of reading scripture, the more you read, not because you want to learn, but because you love to read and you read with joy, revelation comes. It’s often the case when you’re searching for something you need, that you find something else that’s equally important. That’s what Hebrews 11 is like, it’s that something else, that’s equally important to understanding everything else that was talked about earlier. It’s also one of those passages where it’s talking about the past but then there are hints of the future in it. I would say this is one passage where the Holy Spirit is needed.
And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith subdued kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in fighting, and turned the armies of foreign enemies to flight. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured and did not accept deliverance, so that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trials of mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered around in sheepskins and goatskins, while destitute, afflicted, and tormented. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
These all have obtained a good report through faith, but they did not receive the promise. For God provided something better for us, so that with us they would be made perfect.M76
How beautiful are those words! Did you see the same parallels as me?
Did you notice the following?
- Women received their dead, raised to life
- Some were tortured, refusing to be released to gain a better resurrection.
- Some faced trials of mocking and scourging of imprisonment.
- They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
There is something to be said about the similarities between Hebrews 11 and Revelation 20. What’s also interesting is that although this chapter seems to be talking about the past and what happened. It is also talking about the future and what is to happen. The reason I see this as a future event also is because of the context in Hebrews 11:39.
These all have obtained a good report through faith, but they did not receive the promise. For God provided something better for us, so that with us they would be made perfect.M77
There’s an old idiom “it takes two to tango” that originated in a song, which was written and composed in 1952 by Al Hoffman and Dick ManningR5, that I believe applies here.
The people that were spoken about above all had faith, and although they faith was considered impressive, we are needed so that they together with us would be made perfect.
Now I hope you see the future in that statement. The “us” did not happen yet. The “us” are still here on earth. So although the previous reports talk about the past which I will highlight soon, it also talks about the future which I will also explain.
Let’s look at the meanings of the following verse:
- Women received their dead raised to life
We see this fulfilled from the following verses in 1 Kings 17:17-22.
Later on, the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became terribly sick, so much so that he had no breath left in him. She said to Elijah, “What do I have to do with you, O you man of God? Have you come to remind me of my sin and to kill my son?”
And he said to her, “Give me your son,” and he took him out of her arms and carried him up to a loft where he slept and laid him on his own bed. He cried to the Lord and said, “O Lord, my God, have You brought tragedy upon the widow with whom I live by killing her son?” And he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the Lord and said, “O Lord, my God, I pray that You let this child’s soul come into him again.”
The Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the soul of the child came into him again, and he was revived.M78
We see something similar again happen in 2 Kings 4:8-37.
One day Elisha passed through Shunem, and a noble woman was there who urged him to eat a meal. So whenever he passed through, he stopped there to eat a meal. And she said to her husband, “I know that he is a holy man of God regularly passing through near us. Let us make a little walled upper room and put for him there a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so when he comes to us he can stay there.”
One day he came by there, and he turned aside to the upper room and lay down. He said to Gehazi his servant, “Call this Shunammite woman.” So he called her and she stood before him. He said to him, “Say to her, Look, you have gone to all this trouble for us. What may be done for you? Would you have a word spoken on your behalf to the king, or to the captain of the army?”
And she answered, “I am living among my people.”
He said, “What may be done for her?”
And Gehazi said, “Actually, she has no son, and her husband is old.”
He said, “Call her.” When he had called her, she stood in the entrance. He said, “At this season, when it is time, you will embrace a son.”
And she said, “No, my lord, man of God, do not lie to your servant.”
But the woman conceived and bore a son at that season, at the time that Elisha had told her.
When the child was older, he went out one day to his father with the reapers. He said to his father, “My head, my head!”
And he said to a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” When he had taken him and brought him to his mother, the boy sat on her knees until noon, and died. She went up, and laid him down on the bed of the man of God, shut the door on him, and went out.
Then she called to her husband, “Send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys, so that I may run to the man of God and return.”
He said, “Why are you going to him today? It is neither New Moon nor Sabbath.”
She said, “It will be all right.”
Then she saddled the donkey and said to her servant, “Lead on, and do not hold back for me unless I tell you.” So she went and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel.
And when the man of God saw her far off, he said to Gehazi his servant, “Look, over there is the Shunammite woman. Now run to meet her, and say to her, Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is the child all right?”
And she said, “It is all right.”
When she came to the man of God at the mountain, she grabbed his feet. Gehazi approached to push her away. But the man of God said, “Let her alone, for she is in bitter distress, and the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me.”
Then she said, “Did I ask for a son from my lord? Did I not say, Do not give me false hope?”
Then he said to Gehazi, “Prepare yourself, take my staff in your hand, and go. If you find anyone, do not greet him, and if anyone greets you, do not answer him, and lay my staff on the face of the boy.”
Then the boy’s mother said, “As the Lord lives, and as you live, I will not leave without you.” And he got up and followed her.
Gehazi passed through ahead of them and laid the staff on the face of the boy, but there was no sound or response. So he returned to meet him and told him, “The boy is not awake.”
When Elisha came into the house, he saw that the boy was dead, lying on his bed. So he went in, and shut the door on the two of them, and prayed to the Lord. He went up and lay on the child, put his face on his face, and his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands. Then he bent over the child, and the child’s flesh warmed. Then he got down, walked once back and forth in the house, and went up, and bent over him; the boy sneezed seven times, and the boy opened his eyes.
Then Elisha called Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite woman.” So he called her, and she came to him. Then he said, “Pick up your son.” Then she came in, fell at his feet, and bowed down to the ground. Then she picked up her son and went out.M79
Let us now look at the meaning of this verse:
- Others were tortured and did not accept deliverance, so that they might obtain a better resurrection.
Now this verse is perhaps the most difficult to comprehend because it implies that that had an opportunity to be released but chose to be tortured to obtain a better resurrection. Why would anyone want to have their torture continue and give up their option of parole, so to speak?
We have to remember that Jesus is our promise of resurrection as talked about in 1 Corinthians 15:12-14.
Now if Christ is preached that He rose from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not risen. If Christ has not risen, then our preaching is vain, and your faith is also vain.M80
What I believe is that the others who were tortured and did not accept deliverance so that they might obtain a better resurrection, did so because they knew that a greater reward awaits them in the kingdom of heaven.
To understand this, we need to first look at Matthew 5:10 and see what Jesus said.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.M81
These “others” refused to be released from their torture because of their faith. Let’s look at another promise Jesus spoke about in Matthew 5:11-12.
“Blessed are you when men revile you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be very glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in this manner they persecuted the prophets who were before you.M82
There are still others that experienced the following:
- Still others had trials of mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment.
The above verse describes what the apostles went through for speaking in the name of Jesus and although that took place before our time, it is something that hasn’t stopped. You don’t have to travel back in time to experience this, all you have to do is walk into any Middle East country and start speaking about Jesus. You will then be mocked, and based on which country you decided to try this, even scourging. Your release from chains will then be contingent on not speaking in the name of Jesus.
Acts 5:40 talks about this for, when they had called in the apostles, they beat them, and commanded them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and released them.M83
What was really surprising was what they did next, after being released. This is written about in Acts 5:41-42.
Then they departed from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. Daily, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease to teach and preach Jesus Christ.M84
There are still those that with their faith as talked about earlier, wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
Just like the people that wandered the desert for 40 years in Exodus 16:35, because of the wrath of God, but those that had faith survived the dessert to enter the promised land.
The children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land. They ate the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.M85
All this happened in the past, but the “us” that makes it the future also applies. So let’s look at a couple of these verses again and see what future could they be talking about:
- Women received back their dead, raised to life
I find this one verse very powerful because it explicitly talks about the women that received back their dead. To me, this is talking about their children, their dead children. The inference to their dead means that it belonged to them. The fact that it talks about their dead means it is their sin, that is raised to life again.
Now you might be asking how can their dead children, be their sin?
It’s a heart touching and painful subject of abortions. In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Guttmacher Institute published a fact sheet that provided details on the number of abortions in the year 1995, 2003 and 2008. Based on that report the average is estimated at around 43.6 Million babies per year.R6
From 1995 – 2015, 20 years have passed and if we do the math on the numbers, the estimated number of abortions would be 872,000,000 or 872 Million babies.
What we call an abortion today, in some ways would have been called an unsolved murder in ancient times. Some would even say that abortion is today’s unsolved murder.
Now let’s understand something vital about abortions, which is critical to understanding the link between this and the wrath of God. The fact that life was lost is not the root of the issue.
Likewise, when someone dies in a fatal accident, the loss of life is the outcome of the crash. Similarly, when someone kills a person the life lost is the result of the crime. And if someone dies of a heart attack, the loss of life, is the result of the heart failing.
This is the critical point we need to grasp and understand in our heart. It isn’t the result of the loss of life that brings the wrath of God, but the blood that is lost.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BLOOD!
If you remember Genesis 4:10 He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying out to Me from the ground.M86
We think life is lost when an abortion takes places, but that’s just the result of an abortion similar to a car crash. The issue is the blood that was lost. There is a price to be paid and in Revelation 6:10, they cried out with a loud voice, “How long, O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”M87
In the above verse, we see the calling “avenge our blood,” a price has to be paid for the shedding of blood.
You may ask, who pays the price for the loss of blood?
The first answer to that is the inhabitants of the land or the town where blood was shed. When innocent blood is lost outside of natural causes, a lien is placed on the land.
I’m going to try and do my best to explain this to you and the process of what happens to those, that do not die as per the will of God.
First, the ground opens up to receive the blood. This is by far the saddest thing that could ever happen. The reason why I believe that this is the most unfortunate thing is because they do not go to heaven, but they remain on earth, chained to darkness.
They are chained to darkness because they were involved in a sin. Let me explain, when the commandment that was spoken about in Exodus 20:13, you shall not murderM88, was broken. It created a chain or a link between the person that committed the sin and the individual that died. That chain of darkness or that chain of sin cannot be broken until judgment has passed or until the sin has been atoned for.
THAT CHAIN OF DARKNESS CANNOT BE BROKEN UNTIL JUDGMENT HAS PASSED OR UNTIL THE SIN HAS BEEN ATONED
In Deuteronomy 21:1-9 you will begin to see people atone for the sin of an unsolved murder even though they did not commit it They did this because they did not want the land that surrounded the crime to pay a price, to have a lien against it. As inhabitants of the land, they did not want to inherit the vengeance of the Lord. This is what it says:
If someone is found slain in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess, lying in the field, and it is not known who has slain him, then your elders and your judges are to come forth, and they must measure how far it is to the cities which are around him who was slain. And it must be, that the city which is closest to the slain man, that is, the elders of that city shall take a heifer which has not been worked, that has never pulled in yoke, and the elders of that city must bring down the heifer to a valley with flowing water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer’s neck there in the valley. Then the priests, the sons of Levi, must come near, for the Lord your God has chosen them to minister to Him, and to bless in the name of the Lord, and by their word every controversy and every assault will be settled. And all the elders of that city, which is nearest to the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley. Then they must answer and say, “Our hands have not shed this blood, and our eyes have not seen it. Be merciful, O Lord, to Your people Israel, whom You have redeemed, and lay not innocent blood in the midst of Your people Israel.” And the blood guilt will be forgiven them. In this way you are to remove the guilt of innocent blood from among you when you do that which is right in the eyes of the Lord.M89
What you will notice is that the elders and judges went out and measured the distance from the body to the cities surrounding the death. The purpose of this was to see which was the closest town to the body.
ALL BLOOD SPILLED IS ACCOUNTED FOR!
All blood that is spilled is accounted for. The town closest to the murder was held responsible to atone for that sin by God. Not because that is where the murderer was from, but because when the wrath of God comes to atone for those that cry out from the land. All those that are nearest the murder are sort of in the path of destruction.
In Exodus 1:15-22, the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah, and he said, “When you perform the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the stools, if it is a son, then you must kill him, but if it is a daughter, then she may live.” However, the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but kept the male children alive. The king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing and preserved the male children’s lives?”
The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives come to them.”
Therefore, God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. So it happened that because the midwives feared God, He gave them families.
Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, “You must cast every son that is born into the river, and you must preserve every daughter’s life.”M90
The killing of innocent children by Pharaoh did not go unnoticed by God. It was because of this that God hardened his heart, until what Pharaoh did, in the beginning, was returned to him in the end. To protect themselves from the judgment of God, this is the instruction God gave to them via Moses as recorded in Exodus 12:3-7.
Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: On the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a household. And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to what each man shall eat, divide the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats. You shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month, and then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two side posts and on the upper doorpost of the houses in which they shall eat it.M91
They did this because the judgment of God was going to pass and everyone that was in the path so to speak will also be subject to the judgment. We see that spoken about in Exodus 12:12-13.
For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast, and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment. I am the Lord. The blood shall be to you for a sign on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt.M92
God brought judgment to Egypt, which is an entire country, because of what the ruler of the country did. By Pharaoh issuing the command to kill all the male children, he created chains of darkness over the land of Egypt.
I believe that abortion brings judgment to the land, and the babies (children) that are aborted do not go to heaven, as they are chained to sin. Chained to an unsolved murder and are awaiting judgment. These are the dead that will not only be raised back to life but will be returned back to the women. We have to remember that the parents don’t pay the price for the sin of abortion, the child pays that price.
We see this spoken about in Numbers 14:18 (NIV), ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’N9
The punishment that the child goes through is due to the inability of the parent to seek forgiveness. Now it’s also important to point out that the child is not punished for the sin of the mother alone but more for the sin of the father.
Let me explain this by using another translation of Numbers 14:18 that captures this point perfectly.
‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation.’M93
They are many people that don’t believe what they have done is wrong because science and silence tell them otherwise. Don’t get me wrong, science may understand the body to some degree, but it still cannot comprehend the soul.
Unfortunately, the sad truth is that we do not understand what is being aborted. To realize that we have to understand the words spoken in Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; and before you were born I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”M94
What God had formed was being aborted, it was God’s creation. That child was known to God not only before being born but also before known to you. So when that child which God formed and knows, doesn’t make it due to abortion. He’s going to be asking a question, He already knows the answer to. Just as was done in Genesis 4:9. The Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”M95
He’s going to be asking:
- Where is your son?
- Where is your daughter?
Today there are many people, particularly in the middle east that are also dying and their death is also an unsolved murder. They die because they refuse to deny that Jesus is the Son of God and accept a false teaching. They know the words in Matthew 10:33 which say, whoever will deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father who is in heaven.M96
Before we get to the next part of the Genesis 1:2 scriptures. I just want to touch upon the other verse in Hebrew 11:35:
- Others were tortured and did not accept deliverance so that they might obtain a better resurrection.
Those who were tortured, refusing to be released not only had faith but had the Spirit of God working with them. Because not only did they obtain a good report through faith, but since they did not receive the promise. God provided something better so that with us they would be made perfect.
Going back to Genesis 1:2 when darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water.M97
We first begin to understand the importance of what is being said. You could say that God was not only laying the foundations of the earth, by placing His Spirit over the water but instead, God used the water as a way to separate the darkness.
What I’m going to talk about next, is not only important but highlights the planning that God was doing in the beginning, because He knows the end. Before we get into this very exciting revelation of why God, in the beginning, put the Spirit of God over the surface of the water, let us read a passage from Isaiah 46:3-13
Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, who are borne by Me from birth and are carried from the womb: And even to your old age I am He, and even to your graying years I will carry you; I have done it, and I will bear you; even I will carry, and will deliver you.
To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal, and compare Me that we may be alike? They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver on the scales; they hire a goldsmith, and he makes it a god; they fall down and worship it. They lift it on the shoulder, they carry it, and they set it in its place, and it stands; from its place it does not move. If one shall cry to it, it cannot answer nor save him out of his trouble.
Remember this, and show yourselves men; bring it to mind again, O transgressors. Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My good pleasure,” calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man who executes My counsel from a far country. Indeed, I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it. Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, who are far from righteousness; I bring My righteousness near; it shall not be far off, and My salvation shall not tarry. And I will grant salvation in Zion, and My glory for Israel.M98
To me, this passage is God reminding His people who He is, because when you start going down the path of idols, you forget the important things in life. You forget why you are here, who’s in charge, and who has control over everything. Sometimes I feel like the birds and the animals listen to God more than us.
The sad part of that statement is the truth behind it; man lost his standing or place with God and it seems we keep forgetting why. I guess when everything is going great, we end up conversing less and less with God versus when things are not going so great.
When things are going great, we end up living more in the world than out of it. We seem to forget that our conversation with God earlier is what got us closer to God, closer to the Spirit of God.
When it starts to get difficult and you feel like everybody hates you, remember who you’re up against and what you’re actually fighting against which is written in Ephesians 6:12.
For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.M334
When you’re in a battle, do not forget that you are closer to God than you think. The battle against spiritual forces of evil belongs to this world.
If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world, since I chose you out of the world, the world therefore hates you.M99 These are the words Jesus spoke in John 15:19.
When the world hates you, God has a purpose for you. God said in Isaiah 46:10, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My good pleasure.M100
Now it’s important to understand what God just said. God said, “declaring the end from the beginning.”
In due course, the purpose of God is revealed as stated in Amos 3:7. Surely the Lord God does nothing without revealing His purpose to His servants the prophets.M101
You may be asking where is the fulfillment of Gods purpose when the Spirit of God moved over the waters on the earth, that was covering the deep and the darkness on its surface?
This is where you begin to see the purpose of God to redeem the sin which is darkness start to unfold. After which you will then begin to understand Gods’ secret purpose to redeem the world which was set in motion from the beginning.
A glimpse of that purpose is revealed in Matthew 3:11-17. “I indeed baptize you with water to repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean His floor and gather His wheat into the granary, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. But John prohibited Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?”
But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him.
And when Jesus was baptized, He came up immediately out of the water. And suddenly the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending on Him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”M102
This incredible story spoken about in Matthew gives you the first glimpse into the purpose of the Spirit of God over the water. You see when John was baptizing people with the water so they could repent of their sins and when they came out of the water, the Spirit of God which was moving over the water could reach them.
It’s important to point out that John was baptizing for repentance, it was for this reason that although Jesus was without sin. He went through the baptism to cleanse His body from the original sin of Adam. He didn’t have to do it, but to use His own words in Matthew 3:15, “Let it be so now, for it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”M103 He did it to fulfill all righteousness. As the famous saying goes, He crossed all the T’s and dotted all the I’s.
Now what’s interesting is that after Jesus had come out of the water, after the baptism of repentance was completed, the heavens were opened to Him. It’s not too often in the Bible when the heavens open, but at this instance not only did the heaven’s open to Him, but the Spirit of God came down on Jesus.
Another interesting thing to point out is after Jesus fulfilled all righteousness the Spirit of God descended on Him and John heard “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
The question we need to ask ourselves is how often do we forget to fulfill all righteousness?
When we do so, we are missing out on the Spirit of God. Therefore, let us remember to repent and fulfill all righteousness, so the Spirit of God can descend upon us also.
Before Jesus, we needed the Spirit of God that hovered over the waters to separate us from the darkness which is our own sin, but everything began to change the day Jesus was baptized. For after that day, the Spirit of God from heaven resided on Jesus. Through His death, He had the ability to take away the sin of the world in all righteousness. We read about that in John 1:29. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.M104
Sin and darkness are synonymous in many aspects. When the earth was void of the law, it was filled with darkness. Jesus came as the sacrificial Lamb of God to take away the sin or the darkness of this world through righteousness and fulfilling the law, as we read about in Matthew 5:17. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish, but to fulfill.M105
It is through constant fellowship with Jesus that we are able to break away from darkness and unite to stand with him. When we all have fellowship with Jesus, we have fellowship with another who is also in Christ, and this is spoken about in 1 John 1:5-7.
This then is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.M106
Sin leads to death because sin first leads to darkness as we learn in Romans 1:21. Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him or give thanks to Him as God, but became futile in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts were darkened.M107
What we find said in 2 Corinthians 6:14 is interesting. Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness?
What communion has light with darkness?M108
To actually understand what is being said in those words we need to know three of them. The first is “unequally”, which according to Merriam-Webster means, not to the same degree or amount, not of the same measurement and contracted betweenMW6
The second is “yoked” which as defined by Merriam-Webster means something that causes people to be treated cruelly and unfairly especially by taking away their freedom or an arched device laid on the neck of a defeated person, an oppressive agency.MW7
The third is “fellowship” and its meanings in Merriam-Webster are, a company of equals or friends, a group of people who have similar interests.
What that translates to is that we are told not to be together or contracted with unbelievers that take freedom away and become an agency of oppression. For if we are righteousness then what friendship and similarity do we have with those that are unbelievers in the freedom that Jesus brings.
Lawlessness does not have fellowship with light, and lawlessness leads to arrests and chains of darkness (sin) until judgment. We see that in Jude 1:6.
Likewise, the angels who did not keep to their first domain, but forsook their own dwelling, He has kept in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day.M109