Sunday, May 6, 2018
Sabbath - Part Four
Lucifer, the First Sabbath Breaker
We can gain yet more insight into this matter of Sabbath rest by looking at the scripture account of the first violation of Sabbath. As the book of Genesis opens, the first violation of Sabbath has already occurred, and the judgment of Yahweh has fallen upon the one who entered into striving. We see this judgment described even from the opening verses of Genesis.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. But the earth became formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep...
Between verse one and verse two of Genesis a judgment fell upon the earth. This judgment resulted in the earth being made into a wasteland. This wasteland is described as being “formless and void” and covered in darkness. God did not create the earth originally as a wasteland, it became one due to rebellion and God’s judgment on this rebellion.
For thus says Yahweh, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), "I am Yahweh, and there is none else.”
Due to the errors the translators have incorporated into the most popular English translations of the Bible, this understanding of judgment falling between verse one and verse two of Genesis has been obscured and hidden to the masses. As one examines the scriptures, rightly dividing them, they see that a judgment did indeed fall and that the remainder of the first chapter of Genesis is not speaking of the first creation of the Earth, but of the re-creation of the Earth after it had been judged.
A very clear witness of this fact is the scripture from Isaiah above that says that Yahweh did not create the earth as a waste place. But we see in verse two of the opening chapter of Genesis that it has become a waste place. We need not stop there, however, for the very words and phrasing that describe the state of the world after Yahweh judged it are found duplicated in other passages of scripture.
I looked on the earth, and behold, it was formless and void; and to the heavens, and they had no light.
This scripture in Jeremiah serves as a key to unlocking our understanding of Genesis 1:2. We see the identical description of the earth given with all three elements being repeated; the earth is formless, void, and covered in darkness. We need only look to the context of this passage in Jeremiah to perceive that this is describing the judgment of Yahweh falling upon the earth.
"For this, put on sackcloth, lament and wail; for the fierce anger of Yahweh has not turned back from us. And it shall come about in that day," declares Yahweh, "that the heart of the king and the heart of the princes will fail; and the priests will be appalled, and the prophets will be astounded... Your ways and your deeds have brought these things to you. This is your evil. How bitter! How it has touched your heart... Disaster on disaster is proclaimed, for the whole land is devastated; suddenly my tents are devastated, My curtains in an instant. How long must I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet? For My people are foolish, they know me not; they are stupid children, and they have no understanding. They are shrewd to do evil, but to do good they do not know." I looked on the earth, and behold, it was formless and void; and to the heavens, and they had no light. I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking, and all the hills moved to and fro. I looked, and behold, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens had fled. I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a wilderness, and all its cities were pulled down before Yahweh, before His fierce anger.
It is evident from the context of this passage that we are reading about the judgment of Yahweh falling upon those who are disobedient. In the midst of this passage we have a description of the results of His judgment. The earth is made formless and void, and light is removed from it. The fruitful land is made a wasteland.
Is there any doubt that what we read in the second verse of Genesis is describing a similar state of judgment? The phrase “without form and void” occurs in exact repetition in both of these verses. This understanding of the earth lying in a state of judgment is lost to much of Christianity due to the lack of understanding of the translators, and the traditions of the day. Most of the popular translations represent the opening verses of Genesis in the following way. (Note the highlighting)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep...
This erroneous translation makes it sound as if God created the earth as a wasteland, when in fact He did not. Yahweh did not create the earth to be formless and void and covered with darkness. It became this way after rebellion occurred and His judgment fell.
The word the translators have erroneously interpreted as and is the Hebrew word wa. This word is used as a conjunction, and in many other places the translators have rendered it as but. We see this demonstrated in the very next chapter of Genesis.
But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground.
The word rendered but in this verse is the same word wa that the translators rendered as and in Genesis 1:2. Again, as we look at the word rendered was in Genesis 1:2, we see that it is equally rendered as became in many other instances. The word in the Hebrew is described in the following manner in Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary.
1961 hayah (haw-yaw);
a primitive root [compare 1933]; to exist, i.e. be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary):
Again, we need not look far to see that the translators understood that the word had this meaning.
Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became [hayah] a living being.
Why did the translators choose to render these words in Genesis 1:2 as they have done? It was simply because they either did not understand the scriptures, or they did understand, but it did not fit with the orthodox teachings of the day. Let us look one more time at how these scriptures should be properly rendered.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. But the earth became formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep...
What was the state of this original earth of Genesis 1:1 before it was judged? The scriptures reveal that it was in some ways similar to the earth that was re-created in the following verses of Genesis. There was a Garden of Eden upon that earth as well.
Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, 'Thus says Yahweh God, "You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the ruby, the topaz, and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise, and the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you.’”
This passage of scripture is describing Lucifer before he sinned. He is described in type as the king of Tyre, but we can see clearly from this passage that no common king is being described. It is not a man that this passage speaks of, but an “anointed cherub” who had “the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.”
Lucifer is described in his beauty and perfection. He was adorned with many precious jewels. He had access to the presence of God. And we also see that God placed him in the Garden of Eden.
We never see recorded in Genesis a description of this Lucifer, this perfect and beautiful creature being in Eden. Rather, we see him first appear as a serpent. Lucifer was described as “full of wisdom” and the word for serpent comes from the same root as the word sapient, which means wise. Furthermore, we have this description of the serpent.
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which Yahweh God had made.
The word cunning speaks of wisdom that has been corrupted and has been turned to evil purposes. The first appearance of Lucifer in the re-created earth of Adam and Eve reveals that he has already fallen, iniquity has been found in him. Lest some should question whether the serpent is actually Lucifer, we will add the following scripture.
And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
When was Satan thrown down to the earth? It was after iniquity was found in him. It was after he rebelled against Yahweh. It was then that he was referred to as Satan (the adversary), and as the serpent. This is the only description we have of him in Genesis.
When did Lucifer exist in his perfect state in the Garden of Eden, as Ezekiel records? It was in a prior earth. It was the earth of Genesis 1:1, before the earth was judged, made formless and void and covered in darkness. In his perfect and beautiful state Lucifer (the Light Bearer) was in the Eden of God.
But something happened to cause Lucifer to fall from his once unblemished state and to become corrupted. Something occurred that led Yahweh to judge him and to cast him down to the earth along with the angels that followed him in rebellion. Something occurred which led Yahweh in His wrath to destroy the earth and make it a wasteland and to seal it in darkness as a judgment, awaiting a day when He would re-create it.
We find the account of Lucifer’s transgression in two passages of scripture. One is in the book of Ezekiel. Let us look at the remainder of this passage.
"You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you. By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, that they may see you. By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade, you profaned your sanctuaries. Therefore I have brought fire from the midst of you; it has consumed you, and I have turned you to ashes on the earth in the eyes of all who see you.”
We see a further description of Lucifer, and the account of his transgression in the book of Isaiah.
And it will be in the day when Yahweh gives you rest from your pain and turmoil and harsh service in which you have been enslaved, that you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon, and say, "How the oppressor has ceased, and how fury has ceased! Yahweh has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers which used to strike the peoples in fury with unceasing strokes, which subdued the nations in anger with unrestrained persecution. The whole earth is at rest and is quiet; they break forth into shouts of joy. Even the cypress trees rejoice over you, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, 'Since you were laid low, no tree cutter comes up against us.' Sheol from beneath is excited over you to meet you when you come; it arouses for you the spirits of the dead, all the leaders of the earth; it raises all the kings of the nations from their thrones. They will all respond and say to you, 'Even you have been made weak as we, you have become like us. Your pomp and the music of your harps have been brought down to Sheol; Maggots are spread out as your bed beneath you, and worms are your covering.' How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.' Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit.”
In both of these passages we see Satan associated with a king and a kingdom of the earth. Indeed, Satan is described as the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31, 16:11). He rules over the kingdoms of men, and these kings and kingdoms take on his characteristics. Even as he tempted Eve in the same way that he transgressed, to be like God, so he perpetuates his sin and his characteristics in the kingdoms of man. But clearly, this passage in Isaiah, like the passage in Ezekiel, is referring to Lucifer, not a mortal king. Satan was clearly cast out of heaven, and this is related in the following words.
"How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations!”
Yahshua spoke to His disciples of witnessing this event.
And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.”
What a tragedy that the greatest of created beings should transgress the will of Yahweh and be judged. More tragic still is that he led one third of the angels to follow his pattern of disobedience, and that he should tempt mankind to commit the same grievous error.
In examining this passage of scripture from Isaiah we can discern that Lucifer’s transgression was a violation of Sabbath. Lucifer was a created being and all created beings were to be subject to the authority of Yahweh. They were to have no initiative of their own. They were created for Yahweh’s pleasure and they were to find their highest fulfillment in doing that which Yahweh created them to do.
Lucifer, however, began to look at his own beauty, wisdom, and perfection and he thought it unreasonable that he should be subject to Yahweh in all things. He desired to determine for himself what his way would be. He no longer desired to be subject to God. He wanted to be like God, to determine for himself what was good and what was evil. Rather than being at rest, having no initiative of his own, he began to manifest self-will. This is revealed clearly in his words.
"But you said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’”
Five times Lucifer said, “I will.” He was full of personal initiative. He began to want to determine for himself what was good and what was evil. He wanted to take unto himself that which belonged to Yahweh alone, the right of determination. He wanted to purpose and to choose for himself. He no longer wanted to be subject to another, not even the One who had created him.
This is the great transgression of Lucifer, he violated the Sabbath rest of God. He was not content to do the works of God, he wanted to do his own works. He was not God, but he wanted to be like God in having the ability to choose his own way.
What a contrast this is with the Son of God. Yahshua was God, yet He did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped or held onto. Instead, He freely emptied Himself and took upon the form of a bond-servant, one who lived to do the will of another.
Lucifer was not equal with God, but he desired to become equal. Yahshua was equal, but he laid His equality aside. What a rebuke this is to the error of Satan. The Son of God humbled Himself when that which was created through the Son of God would not walk in the same humility.
Satan came and tempted mankind to repeat his error, to desire to determine their own way, to find right and wrong, good and evil within themselves, rather than looking to Yahweh to know these things. Yet the Son of God made it possible for us to return to the position of humility and submission that Adam abandoned.
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Yahshua the Messiah, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross... So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
To will and to work for His good pleasure rather than our own is Sabbath rest. This is what Lucifer rejected. He was not content to will and to work for Yahweh’s pleasure. He wanted to pursue his own pleasure. To do so is to set oneself in opposition to God. To do so is to enter into striving.
Five times Lucifer said, “I will,” thus demonstrating an initiative of his own. Seven times in the gospel of John we have Yahshua’s recorded words that He did nothing of His own initiative. As an eighth witness it is also recorded that the Spirit does nothing of His own initiative (John 16:13). In seeing this we can ascertain that the great struggle of all creation is to come into this place of rest where the creation also does nothing of its own initiative. Will mankind follow Yahshua into the Sabbath rest of God, or will they continue with Satan in a place of striving?
We read in the scriptures that Satan’s initiative led to his being cast out of heaven along with the angels that joined him. The wrath of Yahweh was revealed and the earth was made a barren, fruitless wasteland and was covered in darkness. This is equally the state of any man’s life that chooses the path of initiative. Their lives become darkened as they have no understanding of Yahweh’s will for their lives. Though their lives may be full of activity, all of their fruit will be unacceptable before God. Their lives will become a barren wasteland. They will fail to fulfill the purpose for which they were created.
The promised land of rest is a fruitful land flowing with milk and honey. Those who would enter in must turn away from the error of Satan, they must choose to have no initiative of their own. They must seek only to know the mind of the Father and to do His will. Only then will they know Sabbath rest.
This is an excerpt from the book Sabbath:
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