YHWH is the Creator of Darkness and Light… What of the “Lawful Captives”? Who are they?
Let us read the Sacred texts in terms of what they say, not what we have to superimpose on these texts.
We will come to this very distinct conclusion.
-Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677)
“Great hearts can only be made by great troubles. Great faith must have great trials”
– Charles H. Spurgeon (on: suffering)
YESHUAT NEFESH: The Saving of the soul and life. The Overriding Principal of the TORAH and the gift from YHWH of the TORAH and the LIVING TORAH, YESHUA/JESUS, to us.
The fact that Yahweh God is sovereign over all His creation seems to escape a good many people as they read Scripture. Parts of the Word are misunderstood as certain portions catch the interest and bring comfort, hope and feelings of security while other portions are disquieting, disturbing, confusing and difficult to understand or interpret. Most people, when reading the more difficult Scriptures prefer to leave those passages for later study and take comfort in the easier ones. However, this kind of Bible study does not teach the totality and truth of the nature of Yahweh. This approach; limited understanding of Yahweh and His eternal plan leaves one without a prudent fear of God and the determination to be obedient and loving children. Yeshua said, “If you love me, you will keep my Commandments.” Failure in this regard is a fatal error. (Ephesians 1:4-5) “In the Messiah, He chose us in love before the creation of the universe to be holy and without defect in His presence. V.5 He determined in advance that through Yeshua the Messiah we would be His sons – in keeping with His pleasure and purpose-“
If one reads the third chapter of Genesis on the surface of it, one might think the tree of knowledge of good and evil was only a test of the first couple. It is not that simple. God said, at the end of the sixth day, that all He had made was very good. Of course, He knew before any of creation existed exactly what would happen and it occurred precisely as He had planned. Nothing surprises Yahweh. Dwelling outside and independently of time, He sees the end and beginning at once.
He had created mankind as a family to share love with. It had to be voluntary, willful love, not coerced, forced or artificial in any way. In order to receive this love from His created beings, they had to be free to accept love on His terms; or to choose to reject it. He also knew that the majority of the creatures produced would choose not to love Him. The remnants of Israel called “the little flock” that do choose to love Him are precious to Him.
If Yahweh is sovereign, and He is, and if He is aware and in control of all things at all times, and He is, did He not know when He created the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that it would accomplish exactly what He planned? The obvious answer is yes. So things are not quite so simple and cut and dried as we have been taught.
When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree, God drove them from the Garden and as their family grew, they were dispersed and began to spread out and cover the earth, and patterns of living became more diversified. This is a pattern that Yahweh has employed again and again in order to carry out His millenia long plan. In Genesis 11 we are told that the whole earth used the same language, the same words and as they traveled from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and there they cooperated in the building of the tower of Babel. Yahweh scattered them from there by changing their language so they could not communicate. In the Book of Acts, the followers of Yeshua began to be persecuted for their faith in Messiah and as a result, were scattered to many other areas and because of this, the gospel was made available to other areas of the world. Congregations were established precisely because the believers had been forced to flee the persecution by the heathen.
Genesis 16 Conflict is created. Two bloodlines of people come from one father; these bloodlines are both Egyptian and Hebrew. This may seem to most people to be an unfortunate occurrence, but Yahweh had a plan. Psalm 105:23-25 “ThenIsraeltoocameintoEgypt,Ya’akovlivedasanalieninthe land of Ham. There God made His people very fruitful, made them too numerous for their foes, whose hearts HE turned to hate His people, and treat
His servants unfairly.
He, Yahweh, turned the hearts of the Egyptians to hate His people. His plan is still working. He uses heathen unbelievers, idolaters, and Satan himself for His purposes, both in blessing and in cursing. He is the creator of both darkness and light.
Acts 13:48 The [former] Gentiles were happy to hear the gospel and learn that they had been included into those who were invited into the Kingdom of God. “And as many as had been appointed to eternal life came to faith.”
Romans 11:7 “…Israel has not attained the goal for which she is striving (because they were relying on “works of the law” and not faith. The ones chosen have obtained it, but the rest have been made stone like, just as the Tanakh says, God has given them a spirit of dullness, eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear, right down to the present day.”
John 12:39 “The reason they could not believe was – as Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) said:
v.40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts so that they do not see with their eyes, understand with their hearts, and repent so that I could heal them.”
Isaiah 5:10 ”Make the heart of the people sluggish, stop up their ears, and shut their eyes, Otherwise, seeing with their eyes, and hearing with their ears, then understanding with their hearts, they might repent and be healed.”
[This is Yahweh’s own word, His directive, His sovereign will.]
Ezekiel 36:24 “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you from all the countries and return you to your own soil, v.25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and from all your idols; I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit inside you; I will take the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. V.27 I will put my Spirit inside you and cause you to live by my laws.” [Notice the people are only being acted upon – the action comes directly from Yahweh].
The fulfillment of all the Scriptural prophecies is a definite proof of Yahweh’s sovereignty in the events on earth. The precision of timing and detail of each one shows clearly that NO detail is outside His will. Man’s will is flexible and limited (although we are given a measure of will) but Yahweh’s will is “cast in stone” and is absolute. This rule applies to every single detail of everything that occurs.
Satan is allowed certain latitudes, including the enslavement of human beings (they are “lawful” captives by their own choice), but Yahweh has the oversight and total control. This is well illustrated in Job 1:12, Yahweh God said to the adversary, “Here! Everything he has is in your hands, except that you are not to lay a finger on his person.” We know the story well. The devil did exactly as was allowed by Yahweh – not one thing more or less.
Genesis 15, which recounts the covenant which Yahweh made with Abraham, whom He chose out of the heathen nation where he lived, and swore by Himself to make a mighty nation for Himself, said to Abraham in verses 13-14; “know this for certain: your descendants will be foreigners in a land that is not theirs. They will be slaves and held in oppression there four hundred years.” This is Covenant talk!
Yahweh continues with the terms of the covenant with Abraham, the blessings of many descendants and a land of their own, but the slavery of those descendants for four hundred years was a part of the covenant. This extended period of slavery was to be a time of preparation preceding the blessing. The “Walking BETWEEN the PIECES of the SACRIFICE” in Genesis 15 then SEALED the Covenant in Eternity. The Abrahamic covenant was initiated and sealed in Genesis 15 and was restated in Genesis 17 as the second of TWO WITNESSES required by scripture. Almost all believers miss or misinterpret this cardinal event in scripture. Another part of the plan was to give the people living in the land of inheritance a time to repent. When the cup of their iniquity was full by being enslaved for 400 years in the land of the heathen. After that; they were driven out of Egypt and the children of Israel were then given the Torah Commands and established in the land of the covenant.
Again and again, in succeeding admonitions from Yahweh, through Moses; these words were spoken to the children of Israel; “do not mistreat the foreigner living with you, remember you were a foreigner yourself.” Though man rarely understands all the many facets of Yahweh’s eternal plan in all its complexity, nevertheless we are given portions of it all through Scripture. If we would understand more fully the nature of our Creator, we must comprehend that He is a God of mercy and severity. (Romans 11:22). Those who see God as a one-dimensional God, who loves everybody equally, without exception, have not considered the words in Romans 9:13 “…Jacob I loved but Esau I hated.” This statement by YHWH God is applied to the many descendants of these brothers, with individual exceptions.
Yahweh hardened the heart of Pharaoh to show His power and to deliver His chosen people Israel from Egypt, a continuation of His eternal plan, and the Abrahamic Covenant. All these things were established before the foundation of the world.
Isaiah 49:25 “…even the lawful captives shall be taken away and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered, for I will contend with him who contends with you and I will save your children.” He is a God to be feared and obeyed.
Proposition, Lawful Captives:
Isaiah 49:24-26 is the great riddle of redemption proposed and salved by the Spirit of YHWH God – It alludes to a series of mighty transactions involving vast and eternal interests. B.H. Carroll wrote, “It reveals the most astounding tyranny, the most appalling captivity, the most signal deliverance and by the most eventful tragedy known to the universe.”
I want to show you four things revealed in these three verses of Scripture.
I. All men and women since the fall of Adam are born Into Slavery and Captivity, being lawful captives to HaSatan – (v. 24).
We all like to boast of freedom. All men love the false imagination that men are free, moral agents. “As Bro. Harry Graham used to say, “There’s just three things wrong with that: Man is not free. He is not moral. And he is no one’s agent.
Our text describes us as a “prey” held in lawful captivity by two great forces: The strength of a mighty enemy and the strength of law and justice – (Eph. 2:1-5).
1 You used to be dead because of your sins and acts of disobedience. 2 You walked in the ways of the ‘olam hazeh and obeyed the Ruler of the Powers of the Air, who is still at work among the disobedient. 3 Indeed, we all once lived this way – we followed the passions of our old nature and obeyed the wishes of our old nature and our own thoughts. In our natural condition we were headed for God’s wrath, just like everyone else.
4 But God is so rich in mercy and loves us with such intense love 5 that, even when we were dead because of our acts of disobedience, he brought us to life along with the Messiah – it is by grace that you have been delivered. (CJB)
1-A. We fell under the Curse of YHWH God’s Holy Eternal Torah Law when we sinned in the Garden.
1-B. Being under the curse of the law, we were held Under The Sentence of Death.
1-C. The one who took us into captivity was Satan, the devil, and he is our adversary holding us as lawful captives as long as we choose to be such.
1-D. We lived all of our lifetime in bondage to Satan, as the servants of sin, in chains of iniquity and legions of sin, under the whip, curse and terror of God’s Holy Torah law.
We were not only captives, but also lawful captives. If we were only captives by conquest the only thing required for deliverance would be a mighty deliverer. But being lawful captives, more is required than power. “Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or shall the lawful captive be delivered?” That is the riddle of redemption. “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean”? “How can man be clean that is born of woman?” “How can a man be just with God?”
Is there no hope for fallen, lawfully captive, condemned man? Oh, yes!
II. The Lord God, Yahweh, Himself has taken Up The Cause of His Fallen People – (v. 25).
Listen to this prophetic word of covenant grace. It is not the word of a man, but of YHWH God. “But thus saith the Lord!”
A. “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered!” I will Save!
B. “For I will contend with him that contendeth with thee!” – I will Contend with your Adversary – “The battle is Yahweh’s.” (Gen. 3:15).
C. “I will Save Thy Children!” These are the words of Yeshua, our Surety.
• Spoken to the Father in the Blood Covenant.
• Spoken to the Ecclesia in Promise – (Mt. 1:21).
III. Having Pledged Himself To Do It, We Are Assured That Our Great God And Savior Shall Accomplish The Complete Deliverance Of All His People in all generations (v. 25; John 6:37-40; Ps. 110:3).
The Son of God is honor bound to do what he has sworn and pledged himself to do – (Gen. 43:9; Eph. 1:12).
Our Deliver is himself the mighty God, Yahweh Elohim. The deliverance is accomplished in three stages.
A. The Pathway of Redemption – The only way the Son of God could justly and deliver his people from the ruins of the fall was by death (Isa. 53:10-12; Heb. 2:14). By his death upon the cross he crushed the serpent’s head and satisfied all the demands of YHWH God’s holy Torah law (John 12:28-32; Col. 2:14-15). Not one sinner could be saved, except He be lifted up on the cross of Mithras Sol Invicta, to die. No man could be delivered from the bondage of Satan, not one groaning captive, not one snared prey could be snatched from the hands of the mighty captor, except by the death of Yeshua, the sinner’s Substitute delineated in the Torah. That death…
• Paid the Torah Law’s Penalty!
• Extinguished the Torah Law’s Curse!
• Consumed the Sword of Yahweh’s Justice!
• Exhausted the Renal Claims of YHWH God Against His People! • Secured the Everlasting Salvation of A Great Multitude!
B. The Nexus point of Regeneration – In redemption, Yeshua bound Satan and satisfied the justice of YHWH God. In regeneration and effectual calling he spoils Satan of his goods (Matt. 12:29; Luke. 11:21-22).
Grace breaks the reigning power of sin and sets the captive free! But the work of deliverance is not yet complete. One thing remains…
C. The Pathway to Resurrection – (Phil. 3: 20-21). Yeshua shall deliver even the dust of our dead bodies from the grave and from the consequences of the fall.
IV. When the end comes and time shall be no more, All of YHWH God’s Enemies and Ours Shall be Destroyed Completely And Everyone Will Know And Openly Acknowledge These Three Things.
A. Yeshua/ Jesus is the Lord of all!
B. He is Our Savior and Our Redeemer!
C. He is the Mighty One of Jacob and Israel!
• He Chose Us!
• He Redeemed Us!
• He Called Us!
• He Saved Us!
• He Kept Us!
He Crowned Us!
The saved one then becomes His Lawful Captive!
Also this example applies:
ECCLESIASTES 8:8 says, “There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.”
When YHWH God withdraws His Spirit there is no man who has the power to retain it. Yahweh withdraws and allows Satan to come. He is stronger than we are. It is the power of sin and Satan against which we wrestle and struggle. There is no discharge in that war. “Neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.” There is no person who can become the servant of Satan and be delivered from that power of Satan.
Wrestlers grapple hand to hand. Satan actually takes hold of you. This is what we have to understand. When the term is used, we are wrestling with these powers and principalities. That means that Satan comes and physically takes a hold of us. He takes a hold of our physical body. We are wrestling against the powers of sin. He takes a hold of that body of sin. He takes hold of the lustful eye, and we have no power against it. He takes a hold of the hand that is swift to do evil. He takes a hold of the corrupt mind. We must wrestle against those powers of Satan. During that war, we are lawful captives to sin.
You either resist or fall helplessly under his tyranny. You both wrestle against it and struggle against it, or you fall helplessly at his feet. JAMES 4:7 reads, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” We are to resist the power of Satan and sin. We are to wrestle and struggle against it. When the Holy Spirit comes in as the Spirit of Conviction; we begin to HATE the fact that we are lawful captives of Satan through sin.
Every person, including God’s elect prior to Salvation, are the lawful captives of Satan. We are all under the power of sin and Satan until Yeshua apprehends us and makes us His bond prisoners. Our Messiah comes and arrests His own as a sheriff officer or a police officer comes and arrests a criminal. Until Yeshua Ha Moshiach comes with His arresting power, we are the bondservants of Satan and sin by nature. Again, ISAIAH 49:24-25 says, “Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? [We are Satan’s lawful captives!] But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.”
Let me say this again! We are or were Satan’s lawful captives. Do you know why? In the garden of paradise, Yahweh was the lawful ruler upon the throne of man’s heart. He was the governor of mans heart. Man dethroned the Almighty and became the lawful servant of Satan. “Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?” This is where we stand by nature, lawful captives of Satan. “But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.” This is the consolation we have. That is the power of Yeshua that comes and takes us away. The stronger One comes and delivers us from that former captivity and power of Satan.
Proverbs 2:3 “if you will call for insight and raise your voice for discernment…then you will understand the fear of Yahweh and find knowledge of God.” V.10 “for wisdom will enter your heart…discretion will watch over you, and discernment will guard you.”
Proverbs 3:13-19 “Happy the person who finds wisdom, the person who acquires understanding for her profit exceeds that of silver, gaining her is better than gold. She is more precious than pearls – nothing you want can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand, riches and honor in her left. Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace. YAHWEH, by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens.”
Although men gain power on earth and advance even to Rulership as kings, their perception that they rule is an illusion. Though they have illusions of grandeur because of wealth, failure to fear Yahweh reveals the epitome of foolishness. Proverbs 21:1 “ The king’s heart in Yahweh’s hand is like streams of water; He (Yahweh) directs it wherever He pleases.”
Man has the erroneous idea that he can control, rule and direct the events on earth. Being fools, they think themselves wise, but listen to what Yeshua says to Pilate at His trial, in answer to Pilate’s claim that he had the power of life and death over Him. John 19:11 Yeshua answered: “You have no power over me if it hadn’t been given to you from above.”
James 4:13 “Now listen, you who say, ‘today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, stay there a year trading and make a profit.’ You do not even know if you will be alive tomorrow.”
Psalm 14:1 “Fools say in their hearts, there is no God”, even though Romans 1:19-20 says it is perfectly obvious that He exists from observation of the world and universe we live in. In observing the human race, reading and listening to the thoughts of individuals is amazing in that very few have learned to be critical thinkers.
Romans 1:22 Claiming to be wise, they have become fools! V.23 In fact, they have exchanged the glory of the immortal God for mere images, like a mortal human being.
We watch in amazement as large groups of people place their confidence and hope in a mere human being to be their savior, provider and king when he may be alive today and dead tomorrow.
Acts 12:21-23 “A day was set, and Herod in his royal robes sat on the throne and made a speech to them. The mob cried out ‘this is the voice of a god, not a man’” At once, because Herod did not give the glory to Yahweh (but accepted worship for himself), an angel of Yahweh struck him down. He was eaten of worms and died.”
This morning’s headlines on World Net Daily, on the World Wide Web: “Fate of Mideast in Obama’s hands?” Another headline from the same source: “Obama will address Muslims from top mosque – Egypt’s grand mufti invites the president to speak at prominent Shariah Law center.” John 19:11 applies to Obama as surely as it did to Pilate, and to Herod, and this pride and arrogance will bring destruction upon any man in the same way it came to them.
Remember when, in Genesis, Yahweh spoke the world into being, He said, “light be” and light was. This is how all creation came to be, at His Word. When He said “be ye holy for I am holy” it became so, just as every other statement or command of His came to be, by His Word.
Ezekiel 36:22,23 “Therefore tell the House of Israel (that includes the grafted- in as well as the natural blood lines), Yahweh Elohim says this: “I am not going to do this for your sake, House of Israel, but for the sake of my holy name, YHWH, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. I will set apart my great name to be regarded as holy, since it has been profaned in the nations-“
[Notice that this is a sovereign act by Yahweh; not depending in any way upon actions of His people.]
Joshua 4:14 “That day, Yahweh made Joshua great in the eyes of all the people, they were in awe of him just as they had been in awe of Moses all the days of his life.”
[A sovereign act of Yahweh, not Joshua’s effort. Joshua’s preparation was servanthood; as a humble follower and servant to Moses and faith that Yahweh’s words were enough. “As for me and my house”…]
Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, Adonai Elohim to receive glory, honor and power because you have created all things – yes, because of your will they were created and came into being”
[All things includes everything whether we see them as good or bad, righteous or evil – all means all.]
There is much to be learned of Yahweh’s sovereignty and the absolute fulfillment of His will from the Book of Revelation; the end of the story and the 5th Gospel. Revelation 17:8 [speaking of the beast system to arise in the last days; an astounding vision of John as it will be to the inhabitants of earth at the culmination of evil that is displayed] v.8…” the people living on earth whose names have not been written in the Book of Life since the founding of the world will be astounded to see the beast that once was, now is not, but is to appear.”
[The key to understanding Yahweh’s absolute authority is the fact that the Book of Life was completed before the world was formed.
Romans 9:10-13,27-28 “And even more to the point is the case of Rivkah (Rebecca), for both of her children were conceived in a single act with Isaac, our father, and before they were born; before they had done anything at all, either good or bad, (so that God’s plan might remain a matter of His sovereign choice, not dependent on what they did, but on God, who does the calling), it was said to her ‘the older will serve the younger. This accords with where it is written, Ya’akov I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”
Verse 27 “But Isaiah, referring to Israel cries out, “Even if the number of people in Israel is as large as the number of grains of sand by the sea, only a remnant will be saved, v.28 For Yahweh will fulfill His word on the earth with certainty and without delay.”
Such rebels as Esau, Pharaoh and Judas Iscariot are lawful captives… on the other hand, in I Corinthians 7:14, “For the unbelieving husband has been set aside for God by the wife, and the unbelieving wife has been set aside for God by the brother- otherwise your children would be “unclean”, but as it is, they are set aside (sanctified) for God.”
Children born to unbelieving parents are at the mercy of satan, but those born to a believing parent or one who becomes born again has the mercy of Yahweh and He will send the Holy Spirit to woo them into the Kingdom. All are born in sin, the original sin, but those chosen by Yahweh have their names in the Book of Life before the foundation of the world. It is complex, complicated and hard to grasp for our limited minds, but the word is clear that this is the case. We who are called and chosen can only thank and praise YHWH God in humility for His grace and mercy, for it has nothing to do with our righteousness, but only His sovereign choice.
Everything in the world system is specifically designed by satan to steal, kill and destroy the human race; poisoned food, drink, drugs (both prescription and others), disease, accidents, corrupt thought patterns, belief systems and all images and words that invade the awareness and become patterns of thought and behavior. Entertainment is corrupt, politics is corrupt, business is corrupt and churches and families are corrupt and only one fourth of the Word of God that is sown produces a crop- three fourths are wasted on lawful captives whose names are not written in the Book of Life (Rev. 13:8, and The Parable of the sower).
Rev. 13:8-10 “Everyone on earth will worship anti Messiah except those whose names are written in the Book of Life belonging to the Lamb (Yeshua) slaughtered before the world was founded.” V.9 Those who have ears let them hear!” V.10 “If anyone is meant for captivity, into captivity he goes! If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he is to be killed.”
[These words are authoritative and final and no entity has power to change them]
Isaiah 55:10-11 “Just as rain and snow fall from the sky and do not return there, but water the earth, causing it to bud and produce; giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth – it will not return to me unfulfilled (void and empty), but it will accomplish what I intend and cause to succeed what I sent it to do.”
[And no force in the universe will hinder its accomplishment; not mankind, demons or Satan]
Does this excuse us from praying for the lost souls, preaching, teaching or testifying? NO – this is the calling of all believers. Sowing the seed is our calling, “one plants, one waters, but it is Yahweh who gives the increase.” He will deliver all those who are now lawful captives of the lawless one IF they repent. Satan is the one who is a liar and who has spread lies from the beginning; against all who have their names in the Eternal Book of Life.
YHWH is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent – this is our God, King of the universe, and at the predetermined time, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Yeshua, the Messiah is Lord.
We will see you on the road to Emmaus,
Rabbi James and Erlene Talbott, Yeshua HaTikvah Yisrael Ministries