A Discussion of Shadows, Darkness, The Need For Egypt, Idols of The Heart
by Ayo Fabiyi
What I would like to talk about is Shadows. We’ve talked about types and shadows of many types. ‘Shadows’ are covered a lot in scriptures. Just as there is a positive and negative in so much of scripture, there is also a positive and negative of the shadows. For example, even with Christ (the positive), there is a negative (the anti-Christ).
Likewise ‘shadows’ is another topic that, as with any topic, is all one, intertwined together and linked into the one man of Christ. We will hopefully come to see another facet of this mystery called Jesus Christ.
Definitions of shadows; we could say the topic is trusting in shadows, how God uses them and what ones we should trust and not trust and scriptures to back it up will be presented here.
Synonyms – [darkness, silhouette, outline were all offered by listeners in the group present] “dark figure or image cast on the ground or some surface by a body intercepting light, shade or comparative darkness in an area…” – Oxford Dictionary. It goes on the say ‘a ghost, a reflective semblance, etc.’ Here’s where we get to see a more positive side of it – “to shelter or to protect”. So we can start thinking a little bit more positive that shadows are not all bad.
Just as Paul says in Rom 14:14 “… there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.” A shadow or darkness can be ‘to him’ unclean, but we are to know what God considers a shadow and what man considers a shadow or darkness. As we have come to know, most of it is contrary to what we have been taught all our lives.
I want to start out with Isa 30:1-3.
Isa 30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:
“Cover with a covering” is another way of saying coming out of their own inventions and devices, their own ideas.
Isa 30:2 That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
Isa 30:3 Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.
We’ve talked about being in the sea, in Egypt, the waters of Egypt. It is common knowledge among Christians that Egypt is a system, and while we are in Egypt, we have a lot of trust in shadows. Why is the Lord upset about us trusting in the shadows of Egypt?
At the beginning of our walk, as with any unborn child in the womb, there is darkness. This is a necessary evil for shadows and where we are with those shadows, because, just as we have seen with that definition, it is also to shelter and protect us at that very point in our lives. Being from Africa myself, when I was there out in the sun, I wanted to go back to the cold of England again. I couldn’t take it! The sun would just beat me down. I couldn’t hack the full light.
Likewise, spiritually and doctrinally in our walk, in our life there are points in the Lord’s mercy and His sovereign will over our life that we have to abide in the shadow of Egypt. Israel came out of Egypt. That is our starting point, then we reach a point in life where the light has to come in. We have to be slowly dragged away from there.
While we are in Egypt, scripture goes on to say that we strengthen ourselves with the strength of Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, with basically the things of this world. We trust in those very things; those shadows, and that’s why it is the hardest thing to pull somebody out who has been sheltered, protected in the shadow, to come to say “No, you have to come into the light now.” But that shadow is offered as a protection all their life, just as a baby being born to come out of darkness endures excruciating pain.
David goes on to say in Psa 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” Going through the shadows is not what everybody realizes is necessary to endure.
We start pointing fingers at what the shadows are rather than just a broad description of them. In our Egyptian life, what are the shadows we trust? We have to say “this was as a shelter for now, but I need to come out of it”.
The famous quote “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil” comes to mind. What I would like to ask first is: what are the shadows in our lives that we have been in all our lives that we have trusted? The main ones for me were men of God, pastors, evangelists and all these great and wonderful titles. The trust was extensive in terms of my whole life revolving around that.
Job 7:2 As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work:
Job 7:3 So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me.
“I am made to possess months of vanity…wearisome nights are appointed to me” while we are in that shadow as the life of the natural man.
The book of Ecclesiastes goes on to explain that all our life is as a shadow. That is something we say to sound wise or whatever. We’ve talked about trusting in shadows, and all our life is a shadow, and we based our hope and trust primarily in people, in the life of others. This is where Christ speaks of building a house upon a rock rather than building upon the sand. For that period of time, everyone has his own shadow or protection. Some people’s shadows are money; what Paul calls ‘uncertain riches’.
A lot of us just by nature (which condemns ourselves) trust in people for a varied period of time so that when we come into the light of the truth, it becomes incredible hard because all our trust and our toil and our work has been in “wearisome nights and months of vanity”. Now, in Ecc 6:12 we read that all our life is as a shadow; trust in the shadows. What are some of the shadows that sheltered you before the light came on?
Larry Groenewald: Music, physical music. We make sounds with our voices, we play musical instruments, but the reality is the sound of the heart, the doctrine of Christ in our hearts. That’s the sound God hears, not the outward, though the outward still applies when we sing amongst ourselves. We can hear each other. We can encourage one another with singing, but the real singing comes from the heart when God is in our hearts, when we see His mind being written down in our minds. That is the spiritual song we sing to God.
Mitch Kuhn: You told me the music you used to sing kept you from God. You felt like it wasn’t real.
Larry Groenewald: Absolutely! If you have an emotional praise and worship feeling, that blocks that real, honest application…we can sing to each other, like speaking, like sharing the Word is the sound that lifts us higher. Now we can actually sing together also.
Ayo Fabiyi: That shadow will become a new song kind of praise. One of the most often quoted Psalms, Isa 91, and we will go to it, shows that you are battling the shadow of the Almighty. The scripture makes a definition clarity of the difference between abiding in the shadow, also Egypt, and in the shadow of the mind of the Almighty.
Ecc 6:11 Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?
Ecc 6:12 For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?
Amen! Those verses are not really taken well in the natural state to say our life is just a shadow, a life of vanity. It gets treated as though the writer is depressed. People will say “don’t be so hard on yourself”.
Mitch Kuhn: My family always told me I was way too serious. I was like “Life is serious!!” This is serious stuff. They were contemplating something, working on the car; I was thinking about the things in my heavens working out, not whether the car is working. They thought I was spacey and weird.
Mike Vinson: Peculiar!
Georgie Taylor: Do you think they will see more of the joy in you now that you are getting more well-rounded in your approach?
Mitch Kuhn: I think they are a little bit. I’m just not as joyful around them because of the things they do, but I think they have seen me mellow out a little bit. But you just can’t expose yourself to them. They don’t see me when I’m the happiest, because I can’t tell them about you guys. I can’t throw pearls before the swine.
Ayo Fabiyi: Because all our life is as a shadow, these verses are a great condemnation upon us. First we look in the verses and ask “what is the old man, and what is the new man?” All our life is a vanity – a shadow. As we increase understanding and we are teaching other people in our general life, we need to clarify what the wise man Solomon said to us. In the same book in Ecc 8:13, it goes on to define to us who that man is whose life is vanity.
Ecc 8:13 But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.
This is what we are talking about – the wicked man within me, within everybody, the natural man, as the scriptures like to say. One of the first questions I got some time ago was about this word ‘wicked’. We can say ‘natural’, but what is going on here calling people wicked?
Col 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
Just like most things, a lot of this is primarily in our heart, in our mind. It’s the things we trust, that we have been brought up with, [for example] to trust in education. “If one is well educated, it is a definite advantage”, is the thought. There is nothing wrong with education itself, but when we make that as our trust as it contrasts with fear of God as it says in that verse (Ecc 8:13), that is as wicked, as much a vanity, as toilsome as anything.
We were once enemies by wicked works. Where is this happening? In our mind! The root of a lot of this vanity, wearisome thoughts, trusting in the shadows of Egypt has been wicked works. We know that a lot of what has been wicked has been sitting in the temple of God. A lot of the root of all this has also been in our mind. The society teaches us a certain mindset from the beginning. This is what will make us prosperous; go to church, do this, do that, and we leave God out of it.
One of the main shadows in the scriptures is the law that God gave to us which is the natural things of this world. We are all governed by it. We can see it as a shadow, but it is also used by God to govern us at the same point to bring us to another point in our journey to Him.
What if the point of shadows?
Scripture tells us godly anger is good. What is it at that point in our lives that that person enters – let’s just quote it as it is – darkness. If it comes out into the true light, it could ‘kill’ that person causing a spiritual ‘abortion’.
Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
Col 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
We can complement that with Heb 9:9. I’ll read it in the New King James.
Heb 9:9 It was symbolic [shadows] for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifice are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to conscience-
The person who was doing the giving; it cannot make that person perfect in regard to the conscience which is concerned only with food and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances. For what reasons? They were imposed until the time of reformation.
So shadows were something that was imposed of God for a certain period of time. Mitch just read what the shadows contained – food, drink, days, months and years and so on. They are not the true light, but something that God uses to impose onto us, which is that same thing that Paul talks about in Galatians 3, that we are kept underneath this law, this shadow, until an appointed time.
The light is Jesus Christ
Who is the body casting the shadow? Jesus Christ. He is the veil casting the shadow. Saying the veil casts a shadow is another way of saying God creates darkness. That is a hidden way Paul talks in the New Testament. We know Isa 45:7, but one of the verses that I thought was just “wow” is Jer 13:15-16. This is God Himself just saying not to be proud.
Jer 13:15 Hear and give ear; do not be proud; for Jehovah has spoken.
Jer 13:16 Give glory to Jehovah your God, before He causes darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains, and, while you look for light, He turns it into the shadow of death, setting up deep gloom.
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
That is emphatic! He causes darkness if we do not give Him glory. Like the body casting the shadow is Christ, God causes the deep, dense darkness. We use this in a negative sense, but in the positive, God is working all things. At that point in our lives it is good to trust in the shadow, as it is the protection of the Lord.
Mitch Kuhn: Well, I want to give some examples because you are making a really good point. The most obvious one is the church. The church is what brings you out of Egypt and Babylon, and it’s a protection. The earth is higher than the sea, and it’s good that you come out of the world, and you are protected for a season, and you are taught and trained; you are raised up. That’s one example. One of my big idols was health and vanity; you know, physical fitness. The Lord struck my back down and gave me this limp and all this pain. But what I realize is that that was a shadow. The problem wasn’t that I had a healthy body. The problem was that I had an idol of a healthy body. So now what’s happened is over the last three years is that I have slowly been recovering. The spirit has been growing, and I have been gaining self-control. So now I can walk, I can do some exercises, I can sit longer and rather than going back to the world and trying to get involved in those things again, it’s now been harnessed, and it’s used for the things of the spirit. The shadow does protect you, but I had an idol, and I thought if the Lord healed my back, I would go back in the world. That’s not true. A brother told me, “no, the Lord can change you so He can keep you.” That shadow was a temporary holding just as the church is a temporary holding. You don’t need the worldly church to follow God.
Tony Cullen: The wine is what I’m thinking of all this old and the new. The old is preserved. So the old covenant serves the purpose, but the skin that it’s kept in is the shadow. The wine is good in both sides – the old and the new – because they nourish us, but not until the skin is broken forth; the wine has to pour out of that. So once the shadow is broken down, you can see the light within it. God preserves us in the law. It’s good for us, but then He breaks it down.
Ayo Fabiyi: For a purpose, for a season. We in our increasing mind of Christ have to be fully spiritually dedicated to how God is working all things including the evil for the same purpose. The shadow, the darkness is a very important part of it that we have to grasp to understand what God is doing.
What are the past definitions of darkness?
I used to hear ‘darkness is the absence of light’. What do you think about that, Austin? What is the pattern of sound words in describing darkness?
Austin Vinson: What God creates first. Out of that He calls light.
Tony Cullen: The natural is first and then the spiritual.
Austin Vinson: It’s where He dwells. The temple was filled with the dark cloud when they dedicated it.
Mitch Kuhn: If you look what light is physically, it is charged particles coming from the sun, and they’re energized and moving through space, and they’re bouncing off of things, and there’s lots of movement. That’s what gives us sight, so in darkness there is no movement, there’s no energy, there’s no life. It’s dead and stagnant.
Ayo Fabiyi: I always like to look at…science will give it definition. But the good thing that I didn’t hear from this discussion is what I used to hear that darkness is the absence of light. If you filter that through the scriptures, that is incorrect.
Tony Cullen: Light and darkness are the same to God.
Ayo Fabiyi: You know too much of the bible (grin)! Darkness is not the absence of light because we know Psalm 139 that ‘though I go to the bottom of the sea, behold, You are there.’‘Though I ascend to the heavens; God is everywhere.’ In Him is light. This ties up once again with what Georgie was saying the first night, I think, that darkness is light not manifested yet.
Psalm 139 goes on to say – let’s read it. I like Psalm 139. It makes us think that light is everywhere, but there’s something God is doing that we’re just not seeing.
Georgie: That has always worried me. Why is it that we only see the corona of the sun when the sun is in a full eclipse? You cannot look at the corona, so when the sun is in eclipse, you have to use a mechanism, or you get blinded. It’s the only time you can see it (sun) is when the sun is eclipsed, then you can see the crown. There is a parable somewhere in there.
Tony: ‘Earth’ is represented by the church, and the moon gets in between the sun and the earth. It sounds like the flesh can’t see the fullness until we are completely engulfed by the sun (Son). Just like there’s 365 days in a year, that’s a symbol, too, for Christ has to circuit the earth before that process – you have 3, 6 and 5, right? Three is the process of judgment of flesh, six is the flesh and five is grace and faith. So that’s another way of looking at it. I’m getting off track here…
Mitch: I think the reason you can see the corona when you have the moon blocking it is you see God’s glory in contrast. So when you put the flesh – the moon – up against the sun, you see the crown. And that’s what happened. We have a treasure in earthen vessels and when you put the treasure inside an earthen vessel and then you break it, then you see the glory.
Mike: Let me add something to that before you go on, Ayo. The moon is exactly the right size and exactly the right distance to do that. If it were any further at all beyond where it is, if it were any smaller or larger, you wouldn’t be able to see the corona. So it is exactly the right size to block out the sun. In other words, it was made to do what it does, and to just ignore that and say ‘wow, isn’t evolution a wonderful thing?’ is to deny God. It’s just one of those things that makes it really clear that He is working everything after His own will. Light and darkness really are the same thing to Him, but it also shows that we, the natural world, the moon, stands for us as something that reflects God and light instead of having light in itself. Our flesh just blocks God out; it replaces God. The sun is the light.
Tony: Even now, don’t we see through a glass darkly? Our flesh is the glass darkly.
Mike: That’s what it says. We are the ‘Adam’ that is a type of Christ.
But it’s still the first Adam that actually keeps us from seeing the real Christ. Even though it’s a type of Him, it keeps us from seeing Him. The milk doctrines will starve you to death spiritually even though they are so true. They are true, but just not enough.
Mitch: Well, what I’m thinking about is that Christ is the reflection of God’s glory. So we are the same thing. If a carnal person looks right at the sun, they die; they burn up. But if you go put the moon in front of it, then the corona is visible. So the world can see Christ through us and it’s bearable, it’s a small little piece. It’s the city set on the hill. Then it gradually moves away across the sky, and it reveals more and more so they can see it.
Mike: But you can see that there is something behind it; there’s something more.
Ayo: We are going to try to piece two verses together and see how this can possibly be. Can you read verses 7 to 9?
Psa 139:7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
Psa 139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
Psa 139:9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Psa 139:10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
That’s an emphatic description showing us God is everywhere, but we don’t see the light everywhere, every time. So that we can see Job making a statement in Job chapter 23 verses 8 to 9.
Job 23:8 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:
Job 23:9 On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:
‘Look, I go forward but He’s not there.’ Remember, we have David saying ‘listen, everywhere I go, He is there.’ When He turns to the left hand, I cannot behold Him. ‘When He turns to the right, I cannot see Him. But He knows where I am and when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.’
So there’s a point in our life where we can quote Psalms and say ‘He is everywhere’, which is exactly what Paul tells the people on Mars Hill. He is not far from us. So we have this big, great light, but we can’t perceive Him, and what we are doing is trusting in the shadow of Egypt. So Joshua tells us of the operation of God, of the fact that just like a baby needs to be there for the nine months itself, but after nine months the doctor starts panicking. After a certain part of our lives, ‘when we ought to be teachers, we have need to still be in the shadow.’
Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
So while we are discipling others in every area of our lives, we need to be fully aware – this develops patience in us also. This knowledge, this understanding of the necessity of shadows, is necessary for a season and what God creates it for, and He also has put in us a much more loving approach and patience toward our brothers and sisters, whether they be in the shadow of Egypt at the moment – whether they trust in the uncertain riches, the people – John says the darkness passes away; Paul says the world passes away, and the true light now shines.
1Jn 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
For those given ears to hear, as Christ, who is the light of the world, comes into our lives, we begin to see that a lot of the things we trusted in – shadows – and I thought I used to grasp this here. Paul goes on to say that we should not trust in ourselves. We are the ultimate shadow! The ultimate shadow is the person looking in the mirror because physically, or most importantly spiritually, we are dying creatures. We are dying daily.
Our strength: once upon a time Paul says in Philippians 3…let’s go there. I don’t want to paraphrase it. There is a point in our lives where we actually trust and boast in our shadow. Those very shadows we trust in will be to our shame in time to come.
Php 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk [in darkness and in shadows] so as ye have us for an ensample.
He’s been talking about walking in shadows all this time.
Php 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
Php 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
If you recall what was said back in Isaiah, your trust in Egypt, in the shadow of Egypt, would be to your shame. So the very things that we boast in and trust in will be the things of which we’ll be ashamed in time to come. The earlier we know this and more we recognize this, the more we can be dragged into the true light.
Mitch: Your strength is your weakness. When you are in the world, you think you can reason with people and explain things, so I thought that I could be the mediator with my parents and help their marriage. I tried for years and years and years and years. And the Lord is “okay, I’ll seek an occasion against you.” My parents eventually got a divorce, and it was so manifest that nothing I could do would fix it. So I had to realize it wasn’t my words or my wisdom or any of that. If they can’t hear the scriptures, they are not going to change. So whatever we were gifted with in Babylon is our strength, but it is also our weakness until the Lord tears down the idol, and then He can rebuild it, and you can use your gift again, and it’s not an idol.
Tony: I was thinking of Christ in the garden because His flesh was being stirred up to be an idol, because He was saying “is there some other way? Can my flesh get out of this?” And He was strengthened by an angel, and Stephen was, too. And that’s the strength, of course, that enables us to put off the flesh – it’s the spirit. That’s what God is showing us in all of this; that He can deliver us from the idol of our flesh, from Egypt and from all of this. But we have to be brought to this point where we have to cry out. Then the Lord uses each of us to help each other to overcome the flesh, the idols of our flesh, to recognize them and go to each other and help to overcome them.
Mitch: Back to the shadow, the problem is not that you can teach well or you can play music or that you can cook well. The problem is that we have it as an idol. So the Lord takes it away for a season, but like Job, He can give it back double-fold; better than it ever was before, IF you lose the idol.
Georgie: It’s certainly better in the sense you are now using it in the right way, using it for the benefit of the Body.
Tony: Yeah, ‘cuz I can think of artists – look at Rembrandt or Eric Clapton, or the way James Taylor plays the guitar, but it’s all to the glory of men. It’s what you were saying; once that’s redirected, it will be beneficial for all the body. In the kingdom when we are all completed, everything will be to the glory of God.
Ayo: John 5:40; let’s read to the end, verse 47. This is Christ basically showing us what the ultimate trust and shadow is. It’s a contrast with what everybody would go with versus the true Light.
Joh 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
Joh 5:41 I receive not honour from men.
Joh 5:42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.
Joh 5:43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
Joh 5:44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
Joh 5:45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
“Moses, in whom ye trust.” That’s the message. Notice how he’s been talking about receiving honor from men. That’s a big part of our life! We all want to be…I want to be told I’m good looking. I would like to look like a handsome movie star, and I don’t. Naturally you want to be complimented. “Don’t I look nice?” You know?
Tony: The verses Riquard just read; I just thought, Moses was an Egyptian. Was he considered an Egyptian?
Mitch: He was raised in Pharaoh’s household.
Tony: He was raised in Pharaoh’s house all right. That verse you mentioned earlier about the shadows in Egypt made me think of it.
Ayo: Yeah, yeah, the shadow. So in our general life, in our walk, here it is a big part of ourselves that we want to be liked and receive honor from men. Christ is not attractive (Isa 53:2). As you come to Christ, one of the big shadows, big stumbling blocks for people to even come to you as Christ, everybody in this room; there is a lot of honor in having titles and names and all this stuff in the bible, which is typified by Moses. Because even now, in a lot of churches, life is based around the Ten Commandments and so forth, but it’s a lot deeper than that.
It’s trusting in the law of this world. Christ doesn’t condemn them in the sense it won’t happen to each one of us. It will happen, but it gives us a very good point, a very good principle of what has to happen. Do you want to read the last two verses, Riquard?
Joh 5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
Joh 5:47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
That’s one of the “read this verse slowly” kind of principles. We’re talking rhetorical questions today. The question answers itself. You need to believe Moses first. “If you don’t believe Moses, how would you believe My words?” That’s one of those – “you won’t believe anything I say unless you come from the shadow first.”
Mitch: What happens when you genuinely, with your whole heart, try to follow the law? You realize you’re a beast – that you can’t do it! That’s the whole reason it was given in the first place.
A Response: If they won’t do the law, even if somebody were raised from the dead, they will not believe. So you have to do the shadow first. Ayo, I don’t know if you go in that deep, but I was thinking also of the same thing in 1 Corinthians 13, that not even Egyptian shadows but even the gifts of the spirit are trusting in those that are clearly told they will pass away and are fragmenting. It says here all the time that even the spiritual gifts, the true wealth, will pass, so it is even deeper in that we search men; we want them first for ourselves. We desire and want the means before the Lord removes that from us so that it would become about love and not just about the gifts per se. It’s deeper than just the Egyptian things. It goes right up to where we know we are now.
Mike: You know the rich young ruler and Paul both claimed that they kept the law without breaking it. “These things have I done from my youth up.” “According to the righteousness that is in the law, I am blameless”, Paul says. It still comes down to what you are saying; we look to the man, the creature, and say “I kept the law, therefore God owes me, He’s got to save me, He’s got to bless my nation” or whatever, and that’s where our righteousness begins to stink; when we think that we, the creature, have done something on our own. Everything we do, sin OR righteousness, we do through God. That’s where we replace God – we replace God when we think we do something on our own. Anything – good OR bad.
Ayo: That’s another way of separating the shadow from the light. He that has understanding knows that darkness is not absence or separate from the light. They are intertwined.
In the mind of God, we don’t say good is evil, but it is through Him – we just read those verses – He created darkness. It is a very important part of the whole process of bringing us to Himself.
One of the biggest doctrines that Paul talks about is “though I might have confidence in the flesh” – this is Phillipians 3:4 “though I might have confidence in the flesh”. Confidence in the flesh is trusting in the shadows of Egypt, in the shadow of death.
Php 3:4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
He goes on to say what that flesh is inclusive of. Primarily it was considering the righteousness, which is in the law. “I’m a good guy” and all these great things and the families and in all this stuff, he was blameless.
Php 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
The thing that makes this transition from trusting in the shadow to come into the true light is that ‘D’ word again, which is death. It is through the dying and that light coming – Christ. The scripture in Luke says that it comes to those who dwell in the shadow of death (Luk 1:79), and that is all our life. Now 2Co 1:9 – this is the true shadow.
2Co 1:9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
This is where all the talk of wrath and judgment and all the deeper things we talk about which we learned comes into. What causes us to distrust that flesh or distrust those men or honor from all the things we once trusted? We need death in our lives!
Tony: The circumcision is what causes us to stop trusting in our flesh. Like circumcision, it’s painful. It’s a hard process.
Ayo: It’s so hard that He tells us what that is, which is: “we have the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves.” All those thousands of scriptures in the Old Testament, the shadows, Egypt, it sometimes just takes very little words to tell us what all those shadows are all about.
The ultimate shadow is trusting in yourself, having confidence in your own self and ability of all those people walking according to the flesh also. “…we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead.” So it’s through death that we come out from under the shadow to the light.
Paul goes on to say we should not trust in uncertain riches also. When I went to look at that tower with Austin, the tower of London, some time ago, so many great people, so many nobles – I was asking the body guard where the crown jewels were. The guy looked at me like “what’s wrong with you? This IS the crown jewels!” It’s all shadows and is all gone; it’s disappeared. It means nothing!
The very thing in which we glory will be our shame. The things of the spirit, the things of Christ, will never pass away. We’ll go to the last verses, which show the positive side of shadow, and in this sense is ‘protection’, our guide, our covering, our refuge.
Psa 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Psa 91:2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
You see, we talk about trust and shadow and this and that, and we see that positive sense of shadow in itself and not negative evil. Once we know whose shadow we should be in, in whose protection we should be in, we can start thinking of shadow as something that protects us. Whether we like it or not, the earnest, the measure of the spirit is good for us. We can’t take the fullness of Christ because it would quickly become too much for us; the strength of Christ is too much. So in distributing it, the power is distributed, so under that we have the protection even in the physical of our elders, of our friends and of our teachers.
That’s what that verse in Psa 91:4 is really talking about. “Under His wings we can trust” is the positive side of being in the shadow.
Psa 91:3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
Psa 91:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
“Cover thee with his feathers” – covering is another definition of the shadow. The verses showing how Christ would have gathered Jerusalem as a hen covering her chicks show the positive side of ‘covering’ (Mat 23:37; Luk 13:34).
Psa 91:5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Psa 91:6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
That is trusting in the shadow of God!
[Ayo can be reached at agapayo(at)yahoo.co.uk for questions or comments.]
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