Escaping the Dark
Is a spiritual veil upon the minds of men? The vast majority
have no idea as to why they are here, what their purpose should be, why we age and die,
what happens after death, why humans can go to such inhuman depths of behavior to one
another, why there is war, selfishness, greed, betrayal, infidelity, perversion,
deception, why there is this confusing array of religions, and yet on the other hand why
there is some measure of unselfishness, kindness, peacefulness and love manifested also.
Human existence seems to be under a great mystery of conundrums.
This articles purpose is to show how the veil of understanding
can be lifted and a significant measure of light given to the apparent conundrums of life.
For this author believes that the veil is lifted through a
personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When one becomes a
true Christian you enter an unseen spiritual struggle whose main battleground is the mind.
For once the veil is lifted off the mind, one finds oneself in the midst of a battle that
has raged long between God and Satan. The Bible comes
alive, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit gives understanding of the
scriptures and power over the old selfish self, the love of this fallen
world and Satan's schemes.
God is Spirit but Satan
is spirit also, so the unseen realm is a place where many
thoughts can come into your mind.
John 4 v 24 God is
Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and
1 Peter 5 v 8 Be sober,
be vigilent; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring
lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour
Revelation 20 v 10 And
the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of
fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are,
and shall be tormented day and night forever and forever
But first we must speak on how this spiritual veil came over the human
race, how four humanly insurmountable barriers have been erected between God and man. Then
we will seek to bring to light just what happened in the coming of Jesus Christ
into the world, his death, and his resurrection. What was the purpose and what did the
life of Jesus Christ accomplish? And most importantly how does it affect me? The purpose
as we will see was to take down the four barriers that separates God from man.
To offer the opportunity for each person to be restored to a right and just relationship
with the God who created them. These four barriers have arisen from Adam and Eves
disobedience at the beginning when as representatives of the human race they withdrew
their submission to God and broke their spiritual relationship with God. A spiritual veil
came down upon their minds and this spiritual veil has been
passed down to all their descendants. Every descendant of Adam and Eve is
now born spiritually dead. The four barriers have arisen as a result of that
initial sin. But God, to Adam and Eve told them that a Messiah would come
who would undo the barriers that has arisen between them and restore the
broken relationship in a just manner.
The first barrier that was erected is Gods holy character versus my
character. When Adam and Eve sinned the Holy Spirit which indwelt them departed
leaving them powerless to live a holy life. Since every person descended from Adam and
Eve, each one of us is born without the Holy Spirit and under our own selfish independent
natures or what the Bible calls the sin nature. Understanding Gods character and
then examining our character will illuminate the barrier. Lets first look at
Gods character attributes, then well look at Gods Ten Commandments which
are a measuring stick to compare ourselves to Gods character.
God describes himself as sovereign. He created everything by an act of
his will and has determined physical laws and moral laws and the consequences of violation
of each of them. He has a purpose for his creation, he allowed man to have free will, and
he allowed the fall of man into spiritual and physical death. He has decreed that his
creation will be restored to sinless perfection. In the Bible he has laid out this plan in
advance and has guaranteed that it will come to pass. No other religious book predicts the
future in advance with 100% accuracy like the Bible does. God declares his ability to
predict the future and bring it to pass in Isaiah 46 v 9, 10, "Remember the former
things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none 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 pleasure. Read Revelation
chapters 19-21 for the end of the human story.
God describes himself as morally perfect or the Biblical term commonly
used is "righteous". This means he can never do anything morally wrong or would
cause or influence man to do anything morally wrong. He is the standard to determine what
is right or wrong.
Psalm 116 v 5 Gracious is the LORD,
and righteous; yea, our God is merciful
James 1 v 13
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for
God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any
James 1 v 14
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own
lust, and enticed.
James 1 v 15
Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and
sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
God describes himself as just. He is the perfect judge that never makes
a mistake because he did not know something. He judges based on full knowledge and
according to his moral character.
Proverbs 15 v 5 The eyes of the
Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good
Revelation 15 v 3 ...Great and
marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou
King of saints
God is love. He loves all people and desires all to be reconciled to
him. He always has the best interests of his creation in mind and is not selfish i.e.
pretending to be loving to get something. However he cannot violate his justice at the
expense of his character of love.
I wanted also to say that the real
meaning of love is not the lust of a sexual act that the world portrays as
"love". Real love in that area of behavior means you would court that person
and seek a marriage relationship and leave the sexual part out until after
the marriage. You would seek advice and counselors as to whether as a couple
you were a good match.
1 John 4 v 8-10
v 8 He that loveth not, knoweth not
God for God is love.
v 9 In this was manifested
(revealed) the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only
begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
v 10 Herein is love, not that we
loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation
(made full payment in God's courtroom) for our sins.
God is eternal. He has always existed and always will exist. He has an
infinite life. He existed before he created space, time and matter.
Deuteronomy 33 v 27 The eternal God
is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms...
1 Timothy 1 v 17 Now unto the King
eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever
and ever. Amen
Revelation 1 v 8 (Jesus speaking) I
am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is,
and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty (Alpha and Omega means
without beginning and without ending)
God describes himself as omniscient. God knows everything. He knows
every thought and deed of every person and created spirit who ever existed. He has perfect
knowledge of the past, present and the future. Nothing can take him by surprise.
Psalm 139 v 12 Yea, the darkness
hideth not from thee; the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the
light are both alike to thee
Psalm 44 v 21 Shall not God search
this out? For he knoweth the secrets of the heart.
Hebrews 4 v 13 Neither is there any
creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and
opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
God describes himself as omnipresent. God is present everywhere at once
because he is spirit but yet personal with a mind, will, and emotions.
Psalm 139 v 7-10
v7 Whither shall I go from thy
spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
v8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou
art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
v9 If I take the wings of the
morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
v10 Even there shall thy hand lead
me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
God describes himself as omnipotent. He is all-powerful, holding the
stars in place by the span of his hand. The nations are as a drop of water in a bucket to
him. His power sustains the material universe except for the slow decay that has been
allowed due to sin. (See Isaiah 40) He has allowed Satan to
establish a temporary kingdom of darkness on earth for a short period of
time but this will be ended in the near future.
Revelation 19 v 6 ...Alleluia: for
the Lord God omnipotent reigneth
God describes himself as immutable. God never changes his moral
character and laws; he never bends the rules for someone, he never goes back on his word
as found in the Bible. What he says will come to pass.
Malachi 3 v 6 For I am the LORD, I
Hebrews 13 v 8 Jesus Christ the
same yesterday, today and forever.
God describes himself as absolute truth. Any thought or deed that is
contrary to his character or what he has said in the Bible is untrue and sinful.
God's description of this fallen world is absolutely true, traditions of men
which speak differently are a lie. God told the writers of the scriptures
exactly what to write. The words of the Bible in Hebrew for the Old
Testament and in Greek for the New Testament are pure and true and exactly
what God wanted to communicate. The King James bible is translated from pure
manuscripts as opposed to modern translations.
2 Timothy 2 v 15 Study to show
thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly
dividing the word of truth.
Psalm 12 v 6 The words of the Lord
are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified 7 times
The measuring stick that God has given to reveal our shortfall of
character and behavior is the Ten Commandments. Would any of us say that we measure up to
the perfect moral character of God as laid out by the Ten Commandments? Lets look at
a few. They are found in Exodus chapter 20. Consider this commandment, "Thou shalt
not take the name of the LORD in vain; for the LORD not hold him guiltless that taketh his
name in vain". How many of us have used the Lord Jesus Christs name as a curse
word or combined with a string of curse words when circumstances cross us. I know I have
Consider this commandment, "Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy
days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee." How many of us
have rebelled against our parents authority, in fact against most people in authority and
scoffed at their counsel and admonishments." I know I have many times.
commandment, "Thou shalt not kill (murder)". Did you know that just to be angry
without a just cause is considered murder by God? And believe me what you might consider a
just cause is probably not. So just your thought life can make you guilty of this
commandment. What do you think God would call the murder of unborn babies? The most
defence less people on the planet are
dispatched by trained medical people
whose conscience must be seared. Just to get rid of the alleged problem caused by sexual
immorality. Is this a repeat of past history? Well, yes,
they used to sacrifice children to the Baal god Molech. Other cultures such as
the Incas have also degenerated to this sad depth before being judged rightly
commandment, "Thou shalt not commit adultery". This commandment can also be
expanded to include all forms of sexual activity outside of a married man and woman. God
also calls just looking on a woman and lusting after her body without even physically
doing anything as a sexual sin. Do you think the pornography industry and those who buy,
participate and look on these things fall short of Gods character? Have any of us
not fallen short in the sexual area many times? I know I have fallen short in more ways
Consider this commandment, "Thou shalt not steal". Can any of us say
we have never even once stolen anything from a store, a person, or an employer. I know I
cant. Consider this commandment, "Thou shalt not lie". Have you ever told
a lie? Come on be honest, or Ill call you a liar for saying you have never told one!
Galations chapter 5 v 19-21 gives a good description of our character,
we read, "Now the works of the flesh (our sinful independent nature) are manifest
(clearly seen), which are these; adultery, fornication (sex outside of a married man and
woman), uncleanness (our unacceptableness to God because of our moral failures),
lasciviousness (sexual excess or indulgence without a care what others think), idolatry
(putting religion, career, success, our own goals, fame, power, and fortune ahead of the
one true God), witchcraft (occult practices and drug use, see Deuteronomy ch 18), hatred
(wrong inner attitudes such as hatred of Jewish people), emulations (jealous and malicious
behavior), wrath, strife (seeking to provoke and prolong contentious issues, looking just
to win the argument), seditions ( rebellion against parents, police etc.), heresies
(holding false ideas and teachings about God), envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings
(living to party, self seeking pleasure) and such like: of the which I tell you before, as
I have told you in time past, that they which do such things (practice these as a general
lifestyle) shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Well, if we are honest, all of us have fallen very short of Gods
character. This barrier between our character and Gods character has resulted in the
penalty of spiritual and physical death as a consequence. God says the soul that sinneth
shall surely die. Gods purpose in showing us our character compared to his is not to
load us down with a bunch of rules and regulations for us to chaff and fail at, but to
show us our need for the Lord Jesus Christ and the new life he can bring to the inward
heart. We read in Galations 3 v 24 "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring
us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith". There is a very real barrier of
character between God and each one of us.
However a remedy to remove this barrier has been accomplished in the
life of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a perfect righteous life as a human being. In 2
Corinthians 5 v 21, we read, "For he (God the Father) hath made him (God the son) to
be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in
him." We can have the perfect moral life of Christ given to our account and remove
this barrier but first lets continue on with the other three barriers.
Barrier number two is called our "debt or penalty of sin".
We need to enter into Gods courtroom to better understand this barrier. God is both
100% just and 100% loving. But he cannot override his "just" character at the
expense of his "loving" character. God has to do things in such a way that he
can be both just and loving at the same time. In Gods courtroom when a law is broken
a penalty is assessed and must be paid. In Gods courtroom the penalty for breaking
his laws is spiritual and physical death and eternal separation from his loving presence.
This penalty that is due to me is called my "debt of sin". In Roman times when
you broke Caesars laws and the penalty was a prison sentence they made up list of
your crimes called a "Certificate of Debt". This they nailed to your prison door
so people could see your crimes and the length of your penalty. When the time had expired
the prisoner was freed and on the Certificate of Debt it was stamped "Paid in
Full". This person could never be imprisoned again for those same crimes because he
could show his Certificate of Debt which had "Paid in Full" indicated on it.
Each person who has ever lived has incurred a "Certificate of Debt" in
Gods courtroom by failing to keep his laws in thought, word and deed. The penalty
decreed is death and eternal separation from God. The penalty has to be paid by each one
of us or by someone qualified to take our place. See Ephesians 2 v 14-16. The question
becomes, how can God be just and yet loving and merciful at the same time? The barriers
are looking pretty insurmountable but there are yet two more.
Barrier number three is called our "Slavery to Satan and
Sin". Satan is an angel created by God who led a third of the angels in rebellion
against Gods authority. Satan was the first self-willed being, the self-willed part
is an important concept, keep that in mind. Satans character is described as being
self-willed, a liar, a murderer, a deceiver, a flatterer, a promoter of false ideas
against Gods word, a promoter of false religions and ways to God, a promoter of
humans to engage in sins of all kinds and on and on. As one person has said "Satan
has a trip for everyone." If you dont really like the grossly sinful lifestyle,
he has a respectable false religion you can join or perhaps the cloak of a respectable
atheistic scientist would be more to your liking. Just relax and enjoy the journey is
Satans motto. And because Satan and his demons also covet the place of the true God
they come to your mind pretending to be God or the Holy Spirit or a spirit guide or an
ascended master or as your inner self. But their purpose is to deceive, lead astray and
give you a counterfeit spiritual experience. An experience that is contrary to the way God
has laid out for us to approach him.
But are we really in "slavery to Satan"? This sounds pretty
extreme, arent we all part of the brotherhood of man? I know this is going to rile
some feathers but let me explain and look at some scriptures. First off, yes, we were all
created by God and in that sense we are the same but the scriptures do not indicate that
God is our spiritual father. The scriptures indicate that there are two spiritual fathers,
God and Satan. In Genesis 1 v 28 God gave Adam and Eve legal dominion over the earth and
every living thing upon it and they were directed to care for it. However in a legal sense
when Satan tempted Adam and Eve to sin and they bit he gained legal control over the human
race. At this point the human race descended into the same dark spiritual realm that Satan
reigns over. A realm which is separated from God by sin and disobedience. The beginning
of the age of the Dark Planet. We see this in Matthew 4 v 8-10 "Then was
Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Again, the
devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of
the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things I will give unto
thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence,
Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou
serve". Jesus did not dispute Satans claim of control. In Acts 26 v 18 it
reads, "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the
power (or dominion) of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins
Colossians 1 v 13 reads, "Who hath delivered us from the power (or dominion) of
darkness (Satan), and hath translated (adopted) us into the kingdom (family) of his dear
son." 1 John 5 v 19 reads, And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth
in wickedness (in the power of Satan)." 2 Corinthians 4 v 4 reads, "In whom the
god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the
glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." These
verses indicate that the whole human race is in the kingdom of Satan and subject to his
dominion and power. Jesus did not correct Satan when he offered to give him the kingdoms
of this world for worship. And Colossians 1 v 13 indicates that when we come to Christ we
are "transferred out of the kingdom of Satan and into the family of God." Now it
must be said that Satan does not have absolute power over this world and the human race
nor does he own the physical world. God has the ultimate sovereignty as we see in the book
of Job. With Job, God limited the testing that Satan could do, however Satan was allowed
to take lives, bring disease, and destructive weather. We do read in Romans chapter 1 that
when man rejects Gods light he gives them over to their lusts and Im sure that
entails Satan using his power to influence even more depths of sin. We would also say that
Satan and his demons can only be one place at a time while God the Holy Spirit is present
everywhere seeking to convict each person of their sinfulness and the need to be
reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Depending on how a city, tribe, ethnic group or
nation responds to the Spirits conviction determines the degree of freedom or
bondage from sin and Satan. History is strewn with the wreckage of nations and tribes who
resisted the Spirit of God and were given over to their desires for sin and to be further
deceived by Satan. The last stages
generally reflect a total absence of moral discernment and hearts hardened by practicing
sin. Our generation reflects this with the murder of the unborn, sexual
deviantcy arising with no
shame, false religions, sexual immorality of all kinds, the exclusion of the Bible from
education and media, drug use, occultic practices, lusting through extensive pornography,
and on and on downward it goes until God moves in judgment. One might think Satan is
working overtime in our generation as you look around.
Romans 7 v 14 reads, "For we know that the law (Gods
commandments) are spiritual (right): but I am carnal sold (into slavery) under sin."
Romans 8 v 7 reads, Because the carnal mind is enmity (a state of rebellion) against God:
for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." These two verses
describes the whole human race as in a spiritual state of rebellion (active and passive)
against God and combined with the other verses mentioned above, under a confederate
kingdom, with Satan as the head of this world kingdom. An episode with Jesus and the
Pharisees of his day will bring the fatherhood of Satan to a head. The Pharisees were the
religious leaders of Israel and if anyone in Israel had God as their Father these appeared
to be sure bets. Lets read the dialogue in John 8 v 39-44, "They (the
Pharisees) answered and said unto him (Jesus), Abraham is our father (Abraham was called
the friend of God and started the nation of Israel). Jesus saith unto them, If ye were
Abrahams children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a
man that hath told you the truth, which I heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the
deeds of your father. Then they said unto him, we be not born of fornication (slanders the
Lords virgin birth); we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were
your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of
myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my
word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a
murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.
When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own (inner nature): for he is a liar, and the
father of it."
Wow, here we have probably the best people on outward appearance that
could be produced and Jesus says that their father is the devil! God puts human character
and Satans character in the same boat. Separated from him, self-willed, rebellious
inner state of mind, and manifesting slavery to various sins and lusts.
We read on Ephesians 2 v 2 "Wherein in time past ye walked
according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." Is the "spirit of
disobedience" working in your life?
God describes the world as a dark miserable human slave market with
Satan as its taskmaster and the whole human race having been sold into slavery or bondage
both to sin and Satan. The Bible describes it this way and Satan does all he can to
obscure and cloud this awful state and keep this knowledge from lodging into the minds of
men. Have you ever wondered why there is this conspiracy of silence in the media, the
schools, and among men themselves as to God and the Bible? Mindless entertainment and
empty things are substituted to keep the masses busy. In Western culture Satan has
disguised himself as a myth or a fairy tale from an outdated book yet what better ruse to
then work undetected in the minds of people. You see my friend; not every thought you have
is your own. Who can break the power of sin and Satan and set the prisoners free?
The fourth barrier is spiritual death. Lets go back to
Adam and Eve in the garden. I am assuming you have heard of the basic account, if not it
is found in Genesis chapters 2 and 3. Have you ever wondered how they could be naked and
walk around the garden in perfect peace and in perfect friendship with God? If everybody
in your town doffed the clothes it would not make for a peaceful nor pretty sight. A lot
of people would be embarrassed and ashamed at the sight, a lot of people would be lusting
in their minds about this naked person and that one. And frankly a lot of us would be
saying, "Oh no, you would be much better with your clothes on, because what I see is
hard on my eyes!" So, what happened to Adam and Eve? They were given one prohibition
in the perfect world God had created, one test of loyalty and obedience you might say.
Lets read about the one commandment in Genesis 2 v 17,18 "And the LORD God
commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou
eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Now lets read about the failure of Adam
and Eve. Its found in Genesis 3 v 1-7, Now the serpent was more subtil than any
beast of the field which the LORD God hath made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God
said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent,
We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is
in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch
it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die (calling God
a liar): For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened,
and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil (Satan insinuates that God is really
withholding this special blessing). And when the woman saw that the tree was good for
food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she
took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he
did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and
they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."
A change had happened but what did it entail. Physical death followed
as it has to the entire human race but there was also a spiritual death caused by Adam and
Eves sin. You see Adam and Eve were created with the Spirit of God dwelling in their
hearts and what is called the "Shekinah Glory" around them. The Shekinah Glory
is the strong and unique presence of God. It has the aspect of being "clothed in
radiant light". When Moses spent 40 days on the mountain receiving the 10
commandments written on stone his face shone with light when he came down to the people.
Let's read Ezekiel 34 v 28,29 "And he (Moses) was there with the LORD forty days and
forty nights; he did neither eat bread nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the
words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments. And it came to pass, when Moses came down
from Mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses hand, when he came down
from the mount, that Moses wist (knew) not that the skin of his face shone while he talked
with them." In Matthew 17 v 1,2 we see Jesus reveal just a glimpse of his glory
state, it reads, "And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother,
and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and
his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment (clothes) was white as light." Israel,
when they had their temple had the special Glory of God dwelling in the inner temple part
called the Holy of Holies. We can read in Ezekiel chapters 9 and 10 that when Israel
sinned greatly the "Glory of God" departed from the temple as part of the
judgement to come upon Israel for her sins. You see, sin separates us from God and when
Adam and Eve sinned they separated themselves from God. The Holy Spirit indwelling them
had to withdraw and Gods special presence around them also departed. We then find
that every human being born thereafter is born dead spiritually with the same broken
relationship with God. Every descendent of Adam is born with what God calls the sin nature
(also known as the sinful independent nature), and physically destined for the grave. The
term is called "born in Adam". We read in 1 Corinthians 15 v 21,22, " For
since by man (Adam) came death, by man (Jesus) came also the resurrection of the dead. For
as "in Adam" all die, even so "in Christ" shall all be made
Well, if youve made it this far I know the picture is not a
pretty one. I know also that the history of the human race does reflect the sinful
independent nature as the wills of little gods collide. The history of man also seems to
reflect a spiritual adversary who the Bible calls Satan and the god of this world. The
depths of inhumanity that litter the history books point to a special demonic energizer of
Surmounting the Insurmountable
Well, the barriers do look impossible dont they. It really
puts an end to trying to be a good person and hoping God okays it at the end. And did you
know that is exactly what God wants. He wants you and I to know that it is impossible to
humanly remove these barriers. He doesnt want you on the futile treadmill of good
works as a way to remove the barriers between Him and yourself. That is impossible. Yet,
one of Satans biggest lies is that you can surmount these barriers by your own good
works type religion. And you can see how popular this idea is amongst the religions of
this world. It sidesteps the depravity of man and our foolish pride and arrogantly offers
up the fruit of our hands on the altar of God just as Cain did. It sidesteps the need for
a blood sacrifice to pay for our sins as righteous Abel recognized. Lets view the
"by my good works I will get into heaven" idea by entering into both an earthly
and heavenly courtroom. Suppose you were caught speeding with your car and came before the
judge. And your defense before him is, "well I have been good for the past month and
havent driven my car over the speed limit even once". Will the judge let you go
free because you obeyed the law for the past month? Of course not! You are before him for
the law that you did break and a penalty must be paid. You are before the judge strictly
for the law that you have broken. The fact that you did not speed for the past month has
absolutely no bearing in a human courtroom. And no human judge would be fooled by such an
argument. Do you suppose you would be successful in Gods heavenly courtroom with the
same reasoning? Do you think that in Gods heavenly courtroom you will be able to
say, "well hopefully my good works will outweigh my bad". No, you will be
declared guilty and assessed penalty strictly for the laws you broke regardless of the
ones you kept. That is unless you have an advocate.
Now that weve digested the bad news, I want to bring the good
news. Jesus in his life, death and resurrection has removed the barriers, at great cost to
him and because of his great love for you. The King and
Creator of the universe lowered himself down to our level to deal with the
penalty for sin! Do you think that was not a gigantic step down for Him? Do
you not think it was an amazing step of love for you and for me. Think about
it, the creator veiled in human flesh, came to earth on a mission of
deliverance. The being that had stretched out the heavens and created an
amazingly complex world of living creatures through His DNA programming was
live and in person in Israel. But as prophesied He would be rejected by His
own tribe and most of the Gentiles also. But through that rejection the door
for forgiveness was permanently and eternally swung open. Oh the wisdom of
God! The love of God for you and for me!
Let's look at how
Jesus has removed those barriers and also speak on the cost for you to become a follower of Him.
Who would be qualified to remove these barriers? Well, it can be said
that since all humans are guilty before God no human could pay the penalty of sin for
others for each is already guilty in Gods courtroom themselves. It would take
someone who was truly human and yet not guilty of sin. And since the penalty was death, it
would take someone who could overcome death and not be held in the grave. It would seem to
call for a perfect human with an infinite life. It would lead us to a need for someone who
was both human and God at the same time. And we do have testimony that Jesus was sinless,
claimed to be God, accepted worship, forgave peoples sins and resurrected from the
dead. Lets read just a few scriptures of many, 1 Timothy 3 v 16 "And without
controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest (seen) in the flesh,
justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the
world, received up into glory." Matthew 1 v 23, "Behold, a virgin shall be with
child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being
interpreted is, God with us." John 10 v 30-33 (Jesus speaking in v 30) "I and my
Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many
good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The
Jews answered him, saying, for a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and
because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God." Matthew 8 v 2,3, "And
behold there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make
me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean.
And immediately his leprosy was cleansed." Mark 2 v 5-7, 10, "When Jesus saw
their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there
were certain of the scribes there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man speak
blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only? V10 Jesus speaks to the scribes, "But
that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins."" The
Jewish leaders and the Romans could have easily quashed the resurrection claim by
producing a body. But it would not be easy to get over 500 people to lie that they had
personally seen him after his resurrection especially when it would bring more persecution
for you from Jewish leaders and the Romans. Yet we read in 1 Corinthians 15 v 3-6,
"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ
died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose
again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas (Peter),
then of the twelve (Apostles): After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at
once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some have fallen asleep
(died)." Jesus was Gods barrier breaker. Did you know that it only takes 2 or 3
independent witnesses in a courtroom to attest to an event being true?
The first barrier was removed when Jesus as a human being lived a
perfect sinless life. His life as a human was equal to Gods character because he was
divine, the second person of the Trinity. Though tempted and attacked in many ways he
responded without sin. We read in 2 Corinthians 5 v21, "For he hath made him to be
sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
The perfect moral life of Jesus made him acceptable to pay the penalty for sin. We will
see later that we may receive his perfect righteousness put to our account.
And finally Roman 3 v 22 which speaks of Abraham coming to God in
faith, "And therefore it was imputed (put to his credit) to him (Abraham) for
righteousness. But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that
raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead."
The second barrier brings us into Gods courtroom where the legal
debt of sin stood against you and I. Jesus when he died on the cross "paid in
full" the debt of sin for every human who would ever live. Gods just character
was fully satisfied with the payment made by Jesus for the whole human race. Jesus stood
in my place in Gods courtroom and took the penalty due me upon himself. There are
two terms God uses to describe this payment by Jesus for our sins. The words used are
propitiation and justification. To understand their meaning will bring spiritual freedom
to your mind. For propitiation lets read a couple of verses. In 1 John 2 v 2 we
read, "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for
the sins of the whole world." And in 1 John 4 v 10 we read, "Herein is love, not
that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our
sins." The word propitiation means that the payment that Jesus made on the cross fully
satisfied the penalty in Gods courtroom. And also, the payment was large enough
and infinite enough to pay for the sins of every human being that would ever live! God as
the Judge in the courtroom of the universe looked upon the shed blood of Jesus on the
cross and declared that the penalty for sin had been fully and completely paid for all
eternity. There was no need to add anything to it. Reading Hebrews 10 v 12,14 "But
this man (Jesus), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the
right hand of God. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are
sanctified." Jesus fully satisfied the debt of sin that was against me and God can
put that payment to my account when I come to him through his Son. The stamp reads
"Paid in Full".
The other side of this coin is called "justification" and
relates to how I can have my sins declared "Paid in Full" and receive a pardon
from God. Lets read Romans 4 v 25, 5 v 1, and Galations 3 v 11, "Who was
delivered for our offences (sins), and was raised for our justification. Therefore being
justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. But that no man
is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, the just shall live by
faith." In Gods courtroom we can be acquitted and pardoned on the basis of the
penalty paid. God can legally justify setting me free as my penalty was paid by another.
But for a pardon to be received the guilty party must confess his guilt and be willing to
take the pardon with the term attached. The term attached is the word
"repentance". More will be said in a moment on that.
The third and fourth barriers are covered by the word "redeemed or
redemption". The word redeemed has the concept of freeing a person from the slave
market by paying the required ransom to secure that freedom.
Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, the human race has
been enveloped in a cloud of spiritual darkness. Man is both in slavery to the power of
his sin nature inside and will bow to the god of this world as soon as it is demanded.
Only the restraining power of the Holy Spirit present in this world has kept things from
descending into total rottenness. In the time before Noahs flood the human race had
so resisted the Spirit of God that the time arrived for judgement. I keep thinking of a
song written by a worldly writer called, "Its a Wonderful World". Have you
heard that one? Check out the lyrics sometime. It is so delusional and far from reality
and yet the world calls it a hit song! Gods word describes a scene that would be
better called "The Dark Planet". A planet in the swirling throes of death and
sin, humans under a dark delusion in their minds, in slavery to the power of the sin
nature in their hearts. And with the whole scene overshadowed by an organized group of
demonic spirits casting a spell of blindness upon the whole human race. Reading John
chapter 3 v 19, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and
men loved darkness rather than light, lest his deeds should be reproved (exposed)."
It is into this darkness that the piercing light of Jesus Christ entered on a mission to
light the way back to the true God for all who would come. It is from this true reality
that the word "redemption" finds its meaning. For only through Jesus Christ can
one be freed from the power of Satan and the power of the sinful nature. The word
redemption has as its main meaning "to be set free by payment of a ransom". The
whole human race is in bondage to sin and Satan, a virtual slave planet with a Slave
Master. Jesus entered the Dark Planet and made the ransom payment required, his shed blood
on the cross. That ransom payment will deliver a person from the slave market of the Dark
Planet and will break the power of sin and Satan. We read in 1 Peter 1 v 18,19 "
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed (bought or purchased) with corruptible
things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (behaviour) received by tradition
from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ (ransom payment) as of a lamb
without spot or blemish (sinless)." Also, John 8 v 34-36, "Jesus answered them,
Verily, verily I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant (slave) of sin. And
the servant abideth not in the house forever: but the Son abideth forever. If the Son
therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." And finally, " He that
committeth (practices) sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For
this purpose was the Son of God manifested (came to the Dark Planet), that he might
destroy the works (power) of the devil."
Counting the cost and Receiving the Pardon
Before I lay out the way to escape the Dark Planet, you must
carefully consider the cost. In order to escape it will mean the surrender of the throne
of your will. The term used in the scriptures is "repent or coming to
repentance". Many have watered down the meaning of repentance to where it just means
that you change your mind about sin and the direction of your life. But I say this falls
crucially short of its real meaning. If Romans 6 v 11-13 clearly teaches you must daily
yield your will to the Holy Spirit in order to walk in the Spirit surely repentance must
involve the surrender of the throne of the will to Jesus at salvation. Surely it cannot
mean you just grab the "free gift" and continue on down the same self-willed
road. Surely God cannot save a rebel who fully intends to continue to run their own lives
but with a cloak of Christianity on? Or does God give you the free gift of salvation like
a Christmas present but them turns around and says, surprise, you have to surrender the
throne of your will daily to actually live the Christian life!
Doesn't the heart
exercised before real repentance takes place?
I like the definition
of repentance given by a 17th century Puritan named Thomas
Watson. He described true repentance as having 6 characteristics
as follows. The recognition of sin, the Godly sorrow for sin
(having recognized ones sin as an offense to God and leading
others astray), being ashamed of sin, confession of sin,
forsaking of sin, and finally hatred of sin and not wanting to
practice it anymore. Thomas Watson concluded that true
repentance and faith in the finished work of Christ were two
wings that carried us to the Savior. Isn't modern evangelism
missing a wing?
You see, one must be firmly convinced that they are a
lost sinner on the way to perdition. One must come to the realization that their sin and
character is not unlike those attributed to the devil himself. Yes, the gift of salvation
was paid by another and is free in one sense but it is not given without real repentance.
So I am constrained to conclude that if there is no heartfelt surrender then Jesus cannot
deliver you from the Dark Planet. He is unable to provide deliverance if he sees that you
just want fire escape insurance but not his will for your life. If you dont see
yourself to be quite as sinful as the scriptures say but have some self confidence in your
own righteousness then he cannot deliver you. If you hold to the idea that you in some way
can gain merit with God with your religious observances and performance then he cannot
deliver you. He can only deliver when you see yourself as a slave to sin on your way to
perdition. Some scripture to read, Matthew 3 v 1,2,5-8, "In those days came John the
Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of
God is at hand. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region around
Jordan. And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of
the Pharisees and Sadducees (the rituals and good works crowd) come to his baptism, he
said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to
come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance." Also Luke 13 v 3, Jesus
speaking, "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise
perish." And Acts 3 v 19, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins
may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the
Lord." You see the gospel message that Paul preached is summed up in Acts 20 v 21,
"Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance towards God, and
faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." The repentance part is seeing your spiritual
condition as God sees it with the subsequent willingness to abdicate the throne of your
life. How would you say that you have done enthroned and running your own life? How well
do you see others handling it? I like these insightful lyrics from a song called "Let
Go, Let God" by a Christian band called Hokus Pick.
This is the kingdom of my heart
No longer bright, Its cold and dark
The carpet is not royal red
Its soiled by the thoughts of my own head
I know that Ive been a fool
For what Ive done and how Ive ruled
I tried to make this all my own
Forgetting that this is your throne
Here are the keys
To a kingdom grim and ghastly
I give to you all my estate
You are the King I abdicate!
The faith part is trusting and believing that Jesus died to pay the
penalty for your sins. They are the two sides of the salvation coin. You cant have
one without the other. However many have watered down the message by excluding sin and
repentance in their message and have filled churches with false converts. If you read
about the last church of the church age called Laodicea you will see the fruit of easy
believism. The description of this church is in Revelation 3 v 14-22. Here we find Jesus
in large measure asking most of these people to let him into their hearts so he can bring
If you are willing to this point you must also understand that it could
instantly cost you your life. In some cultures it is a death sentence for changing your
religion. But think about it for a minute. Any religion, which has to hold its members by
fear and intimidation, couldnt possibly be true. It looks more like a tactic the god
of this world might use. Do you think the true God tries to hold you with fear,
intimidation and threatening to kill you if you leave? No, he reaches out with nail
scarred hands and says let me rescue you. You must also consider that family, friends and
relatives may reject and persecute you. In Western culture you will be ostracized
socially. Many who pride themselves in earthly knowledge will look down upon you in a
condescending manner. All manner of persecution may come upon you as many countries have
and are beginning to make unjust laws, which will result in the persecution of Christians.
Hate crime laws are just starting to be used as a ruse to exclude, then vilify, and
eventually to persecute the Christian worldview. You will face misunderstanding and
persecution within the religious Christian realm for Satan has started many false cults
and religious groups which wave the Christian flag. Although the false teachings are many
in these groups there are a few major ones which identify them. Some would be along these
lines, Jesus was not God, Jesus plus good works will get you to heaven, Jesus plus the
sacraments, Jesus was a being God created and the half brother of Lucifer, salvation must
be accompanied with speaking in tongues, you must be baptized in the name of Jesus only,
you cant know if you are saved for sure and many more could be listed. You see the
scriptures say the devil is the author of confusion. It is his plan to offer many ways to
God through many religious groups. Here are just a few scriptures on the cost of becoming
a disciple of Jesus. Luke 14 v 26,27,33, "If any man come to me, and hate not his
father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own
life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after
me, cannot be my disciple. So, likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all
that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." Matthew 10 v 34-36, "Think not that I
am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace but a sword. For I am come to set
a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against the mother, and the
daughter in law against her mother in law. And a mans foes shall be they of his own
household." The cost is high on earth but compared to eternity it is insignificant.
What profiteth a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul? He is no fool to
give up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
You can receive Gods pardon when you personally agree with God
that you are a rebellious sinner. When you are willing to abdicate the throne of your life
and receive Jesus as Lord (which means you are the servant, he is the rightful master) and
Savior (which recognizes his payment for your sins). The first part is called repentance
and the last part is called trusting in Jesus alone for a restored relationship with God.
The moment genuine conversion takes place the Holy Spirit comes to indwell and make you a
new person from the inside out. He delivers you out of the slave market of sin and out
from under the dominion of Satan. The Holy Spirit breaks the power of sin and Satan in
your life. You no longer have to obey sin and Satan as you yield your will to the Holy
Spirit daily and walk with Him. Romans chapter 6 is your freedom manifesto, a good chapter
to memorize as the battle begins.