UNDOING THE DEVIL'S ATTEMPT TO BLIND US
The Moffatt translation of the Bible is clearest on a passage of Ephesians. Paul says there that ‘in the Lord, I insist and protest.’ How often do we insist and protest? There are some who do it ‘in greed’ and insist that some send them a large offering, and they claim to be doing it ‘in the Lord’. Their jet planes, three mansions or more, multiple luxury cars are testimony too often to their ‘laying up treasures on earth’, which does not sound like the Lord’s direction given in the Word of God.
Yet, Paul has something in Ephesians to say that we need to do, and he is ‘insisting’ and is making a ‘protest’ something. There are many who suggest, encourage, and offer advice, but Paul, guided by the Spirit of God here, is INSISTING, and PROTESTING.
Ephesians 4:17-19 (MOFFATT)
Now in the Lord I insist and protest that you must give up living like pagans; for their purposes are futile, their intelligence is darkened, they are estranged from the life of God by the ignorance which their dullness of heart has produced in them men who have recklessly abandoned themselves to sensuality, with a lust for the business of impurity in every shape and form.
The ‘pagan’ influence in that time was very great. The society had instilled in many now Christian, a culture of futility, of depravity, and of evil. Today, we live in society of perverseness and evil also. Story lines on the cinemas are proclaiming that homosexuality is moral, that abortion is wise, that perverseness and iniquity are normal. The students in school are encouraged to try homosexuality, elementary students are shown methods of birth control without moral encouragement to avoid premarital sex. The hours ones spends in front of television programs is far greater than the time spent in Bible study and in Christian influence.
What is the result? Their ‘intelligence is darkened’, they are ‘estranged from the life of God’ and they are ‘ignorant’ due to the ‘dullness of heart’ that the devil’s crowd has produced in them. This is how Moffat translated and understood those verses. Paul’s time, as noted by Paul by Paul there, was much like our society today.
There is a blindness that is bad, and yet, there is a kind of blindness that is good. Sin blinds, as smoke in one’s eyes, will make them unable to see and discern, and as scales of hardness on the eyes, make one unable to open their eyes to view things. Those spiritually blind walk in a darkness, unaware of the consequences of their life choices, of their walk. They do not know sin from righteousness.
In Isaiah 42:18-22, we see a prophetic message about Jesus Who was soon to come:
“Hear ye deaf, and look, ye blind, that ye may see. Who is blind, but My Servant? Or deaf, as My Messenger Whom I sent? Who is blind as He Who is Perfect, and blind as the Lord’s Servant? Seeing many things, Thou observest not. Opening the ears but He hearest not. The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness sake; He will magnify the law and make it honorable. For this is a people robbed and spoiled, they are all of them snared in holes and they hid in prison houses; they are for a prey and none delivereth for a spoil and none saith, restore.’
The Lord was blind in a way, and deaf in one way. Not blind to sin, for He identified sins, made it plain when unclean sinners were sinning. Yet, His grace shined so bright, that He could distinguish those who were ones ‘robbed and spoiled’, i.e. those who were sinners due to abuse and evil against them. He had compassion on those, as the woman caught in adultery, or the repentant thief on the cross next to Himself. He saw those sinners but did not see their sins, but saw them in grace and mercy.
The brightness of His light of love made Him as though He did not hardly know of their evils, for He could see them as victims, needing love and forgiveness. His forgiveness was offered, in mercy and grace. Seemingly blind to their sins, He walked in mercy toward the cross where He died for those still sinners.
II Corinthians 4:18
“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at things that are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things that are not seen are eternal.”
That verse is in a passage that has just described the sufferings of the flesh, the afflictions of the human life. We are to not ‘see’ those things, be as blind to them, and keep our eyes on the eternal. That kind of blindness is commanded to us. There are eternal blessings for the sufferings for Christ, which we endure. But we are to take our eyes off those things, be blind to them, and see the heavenly rewards laid up for us, even though in the natural they are not here to be viewed literally. This is a good blindness.
There are things which flash upon our television screens, that we do not need to watch. Perversions, pornography, sexual exploits are shown daily, even in hours where children are watching. The visual images shown in theaters, on television, on bill boards, want to make impressions on our mind. To those we should be blind. That is good blindness, to avoid viewing and stamping such pictures upon our minds.
The blindness to the Word of God, the blindness to God’s purpose with our lives in this world is a result of not exercising a good blindness. The evil blindness affects many of our day, as it did in Paul’s time too.
‘SPIT’ THERAPY HEALS SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS !
When Jesus spoke the rhema of God, He was hated, and many sought to kill Him. They were blind to the fact, that this was Jesus, the Messiah, the Savior. They desired to destroy Him, but God kept them unable to do so until the proper time.
"These words (rhema) spake Jesus in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no man laid hands on Him, for His hour was not yet come."
Jesus indicated that many will not be able to understand the rhema of God. Those who are of God will recognize God's rhema word, and the ones who are of the devil will not be able to understand or accept the rhema. You will find this out by experience in the next few weeks, as you speak rhema, many people will not be able to accept the rhema, and many will show to us, the truth about themselves (i.e. who their true father is!). They reveal by their unawareness to the rhema being God speaking to them, that they are spiritually not of God.
"Why do ye not understand My speech? even because ye cannot hear My word (rhema). Ye are of your father, the devil... there is no truth in him... when he speaketh a lie, he speaks of his own, for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe Me not... if I say the truth, why do ye not believe Me? He that is of God heareth God's words; ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God!"
When Jesus shared the rhema word with His disciples, and they began to share the same with others, they were hated.
"I have given them (the disciples) Thy Word (rhema), and the world hath hated them (the disciples)."
In the midst of the sermon of Jesus to the disciples of the rhema word, and how to be used of God in delivering such word to the world, Jesus gave an illustrated lesson. We find Jesus still loves to give illustrated lessons. We find the story of such in John 9. Jesus came upon a man born blind. The disciples asked if the man was blind because of his owns sins, or because of the sins of his parents. Jesus told them that this man was blind due to the desire of God to manifest something to those who behold the miracle that Jesus was about to show.
Jesus took clay and spit, and anointed the eyes of the man. The clay and spit indicated a type of the human and divine. (clay = earth = the human vessels that God uses were created originally from the earth; the spit of the Lord = the divine anointing upon the earth, and upon mankind created from it).
The man was told to then go wash in the near-by swimming pool. When he did, he received a miracle of sight. Many have wondered why Jesus did this healing in this manner, instead of simply saying: "Receive your sight!" The truth Jesus sought to teach is the reason for this unusual miracle.
There was much rejoicing, and the Pharisees became upset that the man gave Jesus credit for his miracle. They tried to force him to recant his praise of the Lord, and threatened him and his parents with excommunication from the synagogue if he did not rescind his testimony.
Instead of rejoicing in the miracle for the man, the Pharisees were angry at Jesus, at the man, at his parents, and at all who were rejoicing for the miracle. The man was a bit taken back, confused, and did not comprehend their anxiety. He was too busy enjoying his miracle.
The blind man was given sight, but the Pharisees were blinded to the miracle by their jealousies, fears, and sins. In the same way, Jesus told the disciples that some will find sight when He speaks the rhema word... but others will be made blind by the same rhema word. We will find the same true as we utter rhema words from the Lord.
"And Jesus said, for judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see, and that they which see might be made blind... Are we (the Pharisees) blind also? ...If ye were blind, ye should have no sin, but now ye say 'We see!' Therefore you sin remaineth."
Therefore, we must still speak the rhema word, though some will be blinded, and reject the words, we still speak. Others will accept and rejoice as the blind man did at the revelation of sight. We will find one of two reactions as we speak the rhema word, rejection or revival.
Do not be discouraged! Speak on! For the time is coming when we will not be able to speak. Jesus faced an end of His earthly ministry, and He had to relinquish this ministry to His disciples.
"I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
Therefore, these last days, we see that when we speak rhema, when we give witness of the Lord, some will be made to see, others will, by the same words, be made blind. So, sight is coming for some, more blindness is coming for others.
‘...to bring out the prisoners from prisons, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.’
There are many sitting in a prison of darkness, and we as the Lord’s army, are to free them from blindness, from darkness. Jesus is the source of sight and light for mankind. We can have Him remove our blindness, and keep us walking in light.
“I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not, I will lead them in paths that they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.’
So, our choice is Jesus, or blindness. If we ‘walk in the light, as He is in the light’, there will be a ‘fellowship’ with Him Who is light, that the world does not even comprehend. The anointing, the ‘spit’ that brings healing is the ‘rhema’ of the Lord. The cure for this world is the speaking of the rhema of God. As we speak rhema word from the Lord, whether by quoting His written words, or quoting what He speaks to our hearts, we are eliminating the blindness of the world.
We speak, as did Paul did to the Ephesians, a ‘word’ from the Lord, which we ‘insist’ and ’protest’ in the name of the Lord. The words of Paul were rhema words, and he spoke to the blindness of that day. We need to speak God’s word, God’s message to the blindness of our day.
Paul had the intestinal fortitude to speak against the blindness of that day. There are many who are not speaking to the blindness of our day. We do not need to fear, for the blessing of the Lord that envelopes us as we speak rhema words for Him, will not only remove the smoke bringing blindness, or the scales of hardness blinding eyes, but will bring us into more and more spiritual light and revelation.
WHAT PAUL SPOKE IN RHEMA TO THE EPHESIANS IN THAT EVIL CULTURE, STILL APPLIES TO OUR EVIL CULTURE
But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath you.
Those same words apply to our blind world today. ‘In the Lord’, we too must ‘insist and protest’. We must speak God’s Word, His message in a dark world. Jesus came and spoke God’s message in a dark world. He was the ‘Light’ of the world, and His words were the enlightening factor. Paul continued on speaking the message ‘in the Lord’.
Paul says that the blindness in which they walked was “not so learned’ from Christ. Rather, we need to take the ‘spiritual spit’ and speak the message of Jesus.