Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Homosexuality, Transgenderism, and Schizophrenia: Their Causes, Their Relationships, and a Potential Remedy

© 2019 Dale M. Sides

Before unearthing my findings, which I realize could generate a visceral reaction, I want to stress that this paper contains insight that could genuinely help transgenders, homosexuals, and schizophrenics—and their loved ones—to better understand their thinking and behavior. In no way are my findings intended to be a condemnation of anyone. Rather, the intent is simply to present an honest discussion of fundamental problems that appear to trouble the overall LGBTQ community. The facts are well documented by statistical evidence, yet the information seems either pushed to the side or denied—in part, I believe, because of the emotional and even volatile intensity of much of the LGBTQ community.

After hearing first-hand reports from friends involved in an Austin Independent School District (AISD) meeting and observing some violent behavior of members of the LGBTQ community who were also attending the meeting, I resolved to understand what was behind such behavior. I began scrolling through news stories and psychological studies and also had a discussion with a dear friend who at one time was a part of this community. After listening to him and reading numerous articles, I believe I may have an answer. There seems to be an identity crisis that drives many of them to a semblance of schizophrenia (and in some cases, the actual illness), resulting in multiple personalities. As they group together to validate one another, they feed off of each other’s insecurities and bitter attitudes, and this yields a seed bed for mental illness. From what I have observed and learned, I believe that at the root of this identity crisis and its ensuing confusion lies self-hatred.

In the AISD meeting, the discussion was about transgender indoctrination within the district’s schools, as early as kindergarten age. As you can imagine, it was a divided group, and yet it was absolutely amazing to see the level of confusion coming from those in the room from the LGBTQ community. They were belligerent and offensive—to the point of verbally assaulting a little old lady who only said that she did not want her grandchildren taught sex education of any kind in kindergarten. A large transgender “woman” was so abusive to this woman that she (the grandmother) had to be taken away for medical help. The issue of transgender education in the school system was not even mentioned within the last portion of the meeting because the LGBTQ community kept screaming, “You hate us! You hate us! You hate us!” This adamant and judgmental reaction was frankly uncalled for and way off the charts, considering the civility that proceeded it. It was seriously stunning to see the level of apparent insanity in almost the entire group. This is why I can only ponder such a detrimental mental illness as schizophrenia.

As I thought about it, I remembered the violent incident in the Bible where the LGBTQ community of Sodom and Gomorrah attempted to assault and sexually violate the angels of the Lord who were staying with Lot and his family (Genesis 19). These were violent men with rape on their minds. (I believe that could qualify for insanity.) These sexual perpetrators were thankfully smitten blind by the angels before they could carry out their evil intentions, and the whole city was soon destroyed with fire and brimstone.

Judges 19 relates a similar event where sons of Belial, also sexual deviants, wanted to molest a sojourning man of God in the city of Gibeah. They were beating down the door in rage and sexual fury demanding that the visitor be given to them for their pleasure. Sadly, the visitor instead appeased them by giving them his concubine who they took and sexually violated all night long, till she was found dead on the doorstep in the morning. That is called rape and cold-blooded murder—both of which are insane, meaning borne out of unsound minds! It was considered such a heinous act that the entire nation of Israel descended upon the city of Gibeah and the tribe of Benjamin who inhabited it at the time to decimate the sin of that city.

This is a serious issue. Even political opponents normally have the decency to exercise civility when they disagree with one another, so why is it that the miniscule portion of the population who call themselves transgender do not possess the self-control to keep their emotions in check? I believe it is because there is a certain level of insanity in the minds of most transgendered victims, even to the degree of schizophrenia. Many of those within the entire LGBTQ community fall into the same category, and there is an explanation for this.

Any form of sexual perversion, if pursued, can eventually lead to unsound (insane) thinking—often to the level of an “anything goes” attitude in its quest to obtain a more satisfying, intense sexual experience or “high.” This is evident in pedophilia, sex trafficking, pornography, rape, bestiality, and even murder.

Note: I recognize this may be offensive to some, but please bear with me, because this insight can bring freedom to those who have been victimized by sexual sins and abuse. Regardless of your belief system, please take note of the biblical passages I’ve shared and the remedy of the problem at that time (annihilation). The reasoning was that an aggregate of schizophrenics was uncontrollable.

In our day and time, there are answers available from both the truth of the Scriptures and from psychology. I searched for these because I genuinely desire to help people who want out of their bondage. Although years ago there were a string of online articles stating that male homosexuals have a shorter life expectancy than male heterosexuals, the “supporting data” has since been refuted or at least become outdated; however, I believe there is some validity to this because of the levels of anxiety and stress homosexuals often experience. My heart goes out to them and I hope to offer a potential remedy in this article.

If we can understand why someone acts the way they do, we will be more likely to help them or at least have compassion for them. If we don’t understand why they act the way they do, then we can easily judge and criticize them.

Understanding Schizophrenia

Within the psychiatric community, the word “schizophrenic” has been used as an umbrella term to cover a broad spectrum of mental abnormalities, perhaps because of its various manifestations based upon the identity in which it was formed.

Schizophrenic personalities are formed by the mind’s self-image, also known as the spirit of man. The “alter personality” is constructed within the real person because he/she hates who they are, and this attitude of self-hatred eventually forms a new self that they desire to identify with. When the alter personality takes on the real person’s opposite gender, it is due to a sexual perversion which has self-hatred at its root. This hatred often targets their Creator for “making them wrongly;” and then as their mind becomes more and more warped, it begins to extend out towards anyone who opposes their new self-image.

The Greek word phrenia refers to the mind’s thoughts and activities; and the Greek word schizo means “to divide asunder.” Since the mind is basically our soul and self-image, when it is divided asunder, a different person emerges who conflicts with our true identity. Because the different person who emerges is not the real person, their mental struggles will lead to even more confusion (and possibly more splits) within their soul.

Several years ago I published a book, Mending Cracks in the Soul, which deals with healing wounds in the mind caused by trauma. After years of helping such individuals, I became somewhat familiar with mental aberrations and injuries within the mind and soul. Most, if not all, people are negatively affected by hurtful incidents in their lives. Some of these are so powerful that they can produce a crack within the person’s soul or mind, which can be referred to as a “trauma.” A person who has been traumatized can readily slip into a mental dysfunction which, if not properly cared for, can lead to schizophrenia.

From my experience of ministering to victims of trauma, I have come to the conclusion that there is no trauma quite like the sexual violation of innocence. It ruptures the person’s spirit because their will was violated, and even more so if it was often violated by a trusted adult in their life. Sexual violation not only cracks the soul, but it can also break the spirit. When innocence is sexually violated, the natural response is generally either 1) a crushing of the soul and feelings of guilt, or 2) the emotion of anger and the eruption of hatred from the soul. Vengeance silently begins to grow, blaming either the perpetrator or their parents whom they perceive did not protect them. This is often the background of those within the LGBTQ community.

According to an online article in “The Stream,” 74% of bisexuals were sexually violated as a child.

And that’s why it was no surprise when a 2009 report prepared for a bisexual health summit revealed that 74 percent of bisexuals had been sexually abused as children.

The same article says, “As explained candidly by the lesbian feminist and academic Camille Paglia, ‘Every single gay person I know has some sort of drama going on, back in childhood. Something was happening that we’re not allowed to ask about anymore.’ (She was speaking of bad relationships with parents as well as sexual abuse or other factors.)” Other statistics agree with this percentage also.

This is what I am referring to when I speak of people being victimized. A sexual victimization leaves the deepest injuries in a child and can even result in leading them into deviant sexual practices. Depending upon the situation, as the young child is lured into the abuse, there can be a sense of pleasure and shame mixed together that leaves a chaotic impression within their soul. The memory is absorbed, planting the seeds of a broken identity and a perverse understanding of sexual intimacy.

Sexual deviance is not always attributed to sexual victimization. Homosexuality can also stem from emotional or verbal abuse from one or both parents, and this too can cause trauma that cracks the soul and sows seeds for gender discontent. This kind of abuse can prevent the child from having a natural draw to the opposite sex. A domineering mother can unknowingly foster a male homosexual by constantly controlling him, leaving him with a distaste for women; likewise, an abusive father can drive his daughter away from the association of men. According to a leading feminist and lesbian, some form of abuse is almost always present in the past of those in the LGBTQ community.

The anthropological explanation of why men or women are the way they are is dependent upon two factors: nature and nurture. There has never been and never will be a genetic test that says someone should or should have been a different sex. It doesn’t exist because the evidence is already manifested in their body. The sex of the individual is among the first cellular divisions that occur in the womb and the external appendages blatantly show the gender. So conclusively, the cause of this aberration is not nature/genetics, but nurture—how the child is raised, including incidents that formulate their whole being. Generally speaking, the bottom-line cause of both transgenderism and homosexuality is that they were victimized as children. Predictable emotions from the abuse are resentment and self-hatred (if they blamed themselves), and/or hatred toward others if the abuse happened against their will.

What about Homosexuals? There is a basic difference between a homosexual and a transgender, even though both of them have an identity crafted according to abuse and the corresponding resentment. A homosexual is usually a victim in the initial stages who found pleasure in the attention and fulfillment of lust. Instead of denying the trauma, they eventually accept it as pleasurable and identify with an alternative lifestyle (even though perhaps it is more of a “deathstyle.”)

I believe the reason for the shorter life expectancy of homosexuals that I mentioned earlier is due largely to either heart issues or suicide. These quite possibly stem from the perpetual stress and anxiety of trying to be someone they are not and the subsequent guilt and shame (or the attempted suppression of them). Most of us would agree that homosexuals can choose to live an alternate lifestyle, but their bodies know what and who they were designed to be. Our bodies do not lie. The Bible says in Romans 1:27 that they receive in themselves the recompense of their error which is adequate for them. When it comes to the theory of a shorter life expectancy, it seems logical to me that part of “the recompense of their error” could be the higher levels of stress and anxiety caused by their false identity and shame. I believe homosexuality carries a premature death sentence because the conflict of guilt and shame consumes them.

It’s a pity because some of the homosexual community are quiet and peaceful and do not deserve to be classified with the militant transgenders and those who are violent about their identity. They are endeavoring to live their lives in quietness and tranquility, yet the death threat still looms over them because of the deathstyle they have chosen. It is easy to see how a homosexual lifestyle can lead to schizophrenia and transgenderism.

About Transgenderism and Schizophrenia. When I mentioned my consideration of transgenderism and schizophrenia to my lovely wife, she furrowed her brow and said, “Really?” In an effort to defend myself, I did a web search to see if anyone else had considered this. Surprisingly, I found 12 different articles that pondered the same point.

The reason for the consideration is this: schizophrenia is rooted in the person not wanting to be who they are. This is the perfect description of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Mr. Hyde was the fulfillment of who Dr. Jekyll wanted to be, and I believe this parallels the condition of transgenders. Their definitive statement is, “I do not like me; I want to be someone else.” This is the condition of schizophrenia. The individual (phreia) divides (schizo) his spirit into another personality. It is a deliberate decision and this is fundamental in understanding how to potentially treat it.

The root of schizophrenia is rooted in who the real person wants to become. This is why the manifestations of it are so diverse: it is the projection of who the real person wants to become, or the morbidity of not being who they want to be. The human spirit is so powerful that it can actually create another self, totally different than the real person. To understand schizophrenia, you must understand the person that has been created out of the “divided-self.” The divided-self will be the personification of who the real person wants to be.

This differs from those with multiple personalities. A multiple personality is an alternative self that the real person associates with and enters into, often stemming from the incident that initially cracked their soul. It is most often an unwanted intrusion and, as such, can potentially be easily remedied. This is one of the reasons I wrote Mending Cracks in the Soul several years ago. However, if the individual decides that they want to become their alter-self, a multiple personality can quickly morph into schizophrenia. If that happens, the erratic behavior will accelerate and formulate a rationale for its existence.

The decision to become someone other than who they are can be understood from the scripture that says that they “did not like to retain God in their knowledge,” because they are going against who God designed them to be (Romans 1:28). In a sense, they re-create themselves into this new alter-self (thus dividing their soul); and by doing so, they become their own god. This is a fast track to insanity because the new “divided-self” now has no logic or purpose other than to legitimize its new identity; and since the persona was forged in self-hatred, hate becomes their basic driving force. I believe that is why so much of the transgender culture exudes an attitude of hatred. The schizophrenic has to constantly explain why he/she exists, and it basically boils down to the fact that he or she hates God for making them with the body parts they have, instead of the way they think He should have made them. This hatred is at the very root of their new identity and it becomes the dominant trait of their divided self.

Of course, there are many schizophrenics who are not transgender, but this article is not about them. Transgenders are a specific type of schizophrenic, and this particular kind is rooted so deeply in anger and hatred that it often manifests in violence and hatred. The real issue—the truth that their transgender personality is founded and produced out of self-hatred and God-hatred—is hidden.

It’s important to understand the root of this hatred—whether it be towards self, God, or an abuser. Once the root is understood, then an important part of the remedy must include forgiveness. In the case of transgenderism, the person they need to forgive first is themselves for being deceived into not liking who God made them to be. They may never have been sexually violated, but if they were emotionally bullied or enticed into a desire to be someone else, forgiveness is still necessary. Perhaps he or she was bullied by others of the same gender which made them want to identify with the opposite gender. They may have been called names because of physical weaknesses or variations from the “normal” male image or the “normal” female image. A young person’s soul can be hurt by the cruel ridicule of insensitive peers, and the injury can be so severe that they no longer want to be themselves anymore. Out of a need to protect themselves, he/she may begin to congregate with those of the opposite gender to find solace in identifying with that gender, and thus begins the formation of a divided-self.

The synthesis of the transgender schizophrenic is that the divided-self, or the false identity, is a projection of who and what the real self wants to be. Because of their perpetual battle against those who oppose them, the transgendered schizophrenic divided-self’s code of beliefs ends up being hatred towards their opponents. This is because the seed of their alter-ego is hatred.

When they begin chanting, “You hate us! You hate us! You hate us!” the proper response is, “No, the problem is that you hate you.”

The Potential Remedy. My purpose for exposing these lies is for the dysfunctions to be eliminated and the whole person emerge without scar or remorse. However, the mandatory requirement for this is the application of the universal remedy for most mental illnesses: forgiveness.

Regardless of the type of abuse you have suffered, forgiveness is absolutely mandatory. Perhaps those who caused the cracks in your soul did not sexually violate you but verbally berated you or physically violated you in a non-sexual manner. Perhaps bullies pushed the buttons in you that caused you to condemn and even hate yourself. Forgive them. Hurt people hurt you; and hurt people go on to hurt others. The hurt cycle continues until someone decides to stop it, and forgiveness is the key to stopping it. Hate works the same way. It perpetuates until someone decides to forgive. Unforgiveness and bitterness will consume your soul, body, and spirit and will most assuredly lead to a premature death. Forgive the person(s) who violated you.

The universal remedy in all homosexuality, transgenderism, and schizophrenia is forgiveness. Unforgiveness embitters the soul, and there is definitive truth to the saying that bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Only forgiveness will purge your soul of the trauma that was inflicted by others and remove the scars of dysfunction. Homosexuals, transgenders, and anyone else who is holding onto resentment need to forgive the offenders who violated them, regardless of how or when the violation took place.

Next, it is important to admit that you have been deceived and forgive yourself for allowing it to happen. I know a woman who was in deep sexual sin but now is totally delivered and lives by the word of her testimony. She said, “The only way to get over it is to own it, confess your guilt, ask God to forgive you, and then forgive yourself.” Self-hatred is the major scheme of schizophrenia and is also part of the problem in homosexuality because of not accepting who you were made to be and not liking the real you. Own it and forgive yourself.

I have a dear friend who has been delivered from transgenderism. He is back with his wife and family and is open to share his testimony about his deliverance. I called and asked him questions as a part of the research for this article. He said, “I believed a lie and I had to own it. I asked my family for forgiveness and they forgave me, but the real trick was admitting I was wrong and asking God to forgive me for denying what He said about me.”

He also said something that impacted me deeply. He said, “Of all the ministers I dealt with through the years of gender identity dysfunction, you were the only one who did not tell me that I would go to hell. You told me that there would be serious consequences in eternity for my decision, but that God is bigger than sex and that the Holy Spirit in me was eternal and that it would not leave me if I changed my sex. The whole time I was deceived, I remembered that you said that God would forgive me if I repented but that I was going to do a lot of harm to myself and my family because I was selfish.” He concluded, “If I had not believed that God would forgive me, I would have never turned back.”

There is a lesson for all of us in forgiveness. Perhaps some of us need to ask God to forgive us for being judgmental over someone or something we did not understand. There is wisdom in the old saying, “You should never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.” Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird said it this way, “You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” The vast majority, if not all, of the LGBTQ community has been abused and most of them, sexually. The abuse does not need to be magnified but mortified—and that is done through forgiveness and love.

The bottom line is that you need God’s forgiveness for rejecting who He made you to be. Romans 1:28 (NIV) says, “Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.” This means that an intentional decision was made to neglect Him and ignore His unction. This attitude eventually hardens the heart to the point of God allowing you to go your own deceived way. Praise God for His mercy and forgiveness and the blood of Jesus that covers the sins of mankind—all of us!

In inner healing and deliverance it is necessary, in situations of multiple personalities or self-divided schizophrenics, for the personalities to become one. This is done for multiple personalities by merging the personalities and finally dismissing the alter after the trauma is resolved. In schizophrenic situations, it is necessary to tell the alter self to go away—often multiple times—just as an alcoholic or drug addict must tell their temptations. Take charge of your mind so that you are the one determining your thoughts.

Inner healing is typically a process that takes time but it starts with a change of thinking and a continual confession of deliverance and victory. Homosexuality, transgenderism, and schizophrenia can potentially be healed through forgiveness and the abolishment of self-hatred. The ultimate goal is to love God who made you beautiful and to love yourself as He does.

Pray for the LGBTQ community to lay down their hatred/arms and admit that they have been hurt and deceived. Pray that they will ask for help. Pray for discernment, wisdom, and love to guide us in our treatment of one another.

Important Note: On the very day we were about to post this blog, an article was released by World Net Daily entitled “FORMER TRANSGENDERS WARN SUPREMES TO LEAVE SEX ALONE.” (See https://www.wnd.com/2019/10/former-transgenders-warn-supremes-leave-sex-alone/.) This confirms the timeliness of our posting! The World Net Daily article reports how nine transgenders testified before the Supreme Court in an effort to reveal the dangers of becoming a transgender and the consequences of gender dysphoria.

These nine individuals had the courage and compassion for their fellow men and women by standing up and confessing the error they made and warning others and the government to not change the legal definition of “sex.”

“When Congress wrote the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which forbids discrimination based on ‘sex,’ it was understood to mean ‘male and female.’”

“[Walt] Heyer [one of the nine] is a man who was diagnosed with gender dysphoria, took hormones and underwent surgery to adopt the physical appearance of the opposite sex, and lived for eight years appearing to be a woman. But those steps did not resolve his problems and he attempted suicide,” the brief says. “He was diagnosed with dissociative disorder and was able to resolve his gender dysphoria through psychotherapy to effectively treat the dissociative disorder. His feelings of wanting to be the opposite sex went away, and he was able to return to living with a male appearance and be happy.”

“The former transgenders wrote: ‘This emerging group of people with gender identity issues are suffering from emotional, psychological, or social identity discomfort far deeper than new pronouns can rectify.’”

“Linked complications could include ‘depressions, anxiety, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, dissociative disorder, schizophrenia, body dysmorphic,’ the brief says.”

“A better course would be to seek ‘to align one’s mind with reality.’”

These are testimonies of individuals who have lived the lie and the nightmare. Thank God for their boldness and love to share their trauma and distress over the issue of transgenderism. We pray that their testimonies will be heeded by governmental officials in positions to discourage transgenderism rather than to encourage it to the detriment of not only our society and children, but to the individuals who are victimized by lies from their abuse and insecurity and not reality.

Monday, August 19, 2019


It’s been almost 50 years ago now that I first heard about the gift of righteousness. Recently, however, the Lord has stirred up a desire in me to re-dig the wellsprings of miracles and supernatural power in my life. As I was pondering this, I realized something that is revolutionizing my approach to healing and other manifestations of God’s promises: recognizing the gift of righteousness in our lives is a vital key to a miraculous walk with the Lord. It truly is one of the most important truths in the Scriptures and in our everyday lives.

The simple definition of righteousness is “being right with God;” and this is the heart cry of every serious believer—and actually the heart cry of most unbelievers too if they were honest with themselves. Throughout mankind’s history, God has always made a means available whereby people could be in right standing and relationship with Him. Adam and Eve’s righteousness would have been maintained by simply obeying the rules He gave them: to dress and keep the garden and to not eat of the tree of knowledge. The patriarchs of old, such as Noah and Abraham, were counted righteous according to their faith in God and their belief in the coming Messiah. With Moses came a new mandate to be counted righteous: to keep the law that God gave His people (Deuteronomy 6:25). In the New Testament, a new standard for righteousness was initiated when the Messiah paid the price for redemption and forgiveness. The rules changed, and now it is a gift that God gives us freely because the price was paid by the innocent and holy blood of the Lamb.

Righteousness is no longer an action that we take but a reality that we must believe. The following verse of scripture alone heralds the true value of the gift of righteousness.

For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. ~Romans 5:17

This is not a gimmick or a game. It is a foundational truth that we must believe and accept if we are to reign in life. Notice that it says that you must receive the gift of righteousness if you desire to reign in life. The purpose of this article is to show you how to receive it and walk in the victory of this gift.

What is the Gift of Righteousness?

The words used to describe this gift provide explanation enough to realize what it is. The fact that it is a noun shows that it is a thing, and more specifically, a gift from God. This gift shows that He accepts you and resolves all of your sin, guilt, and unworthiness. The gift of righteousness allows you to stand before Him totally sinless and worthy to receive His promises. In addition, it also includes His great desire to fellowship with you. God had to abolish sin in you before He moved the Holy Spirit into you, because He will not dwell in a contaminated vessel. God is light and in Him is no darkness. He does not fellowship with unrighteousness.

As we study the usages of the word righteousness throughout the Scriptures, we discover some interesting things. The root word for righteousness is “right.” Right? “Right” can be a noun, an adjective, an adverb, or a verb. “Righteous” is an adjective that describes the state of being right. “Righteousness” is an extended form of the adjective that intensifies the substance of the noun and emphasizes the gift of being right before God. We already saw that it was a noun, but in this instance, “righteousness” is a concrete noun, rather than an abstract entity. However, it is more than just a simple noun because it is in the extended form of the adjective. It holds the same relationship as “conscious” does to “consciousness” and “faith” does to “faithfulness.” It makes the noun have more emphasis because it is an extension of the adjective “righteous.”

In reality, the gift of righteousness is the God-given ability to be worthy and to feel worthy enough to receive His fellowship and blessings. In almost 50 years of ministry, I have discovered that unworthiness and sin-consciousness are perhaps the most life-strangling and grace-denying feelings that lurk in people’s minds and hearts. These feelings create one of the greatest deterrents to receiving the promises of God. The gift of righteousness abolishes sin-consciousness and instills within us a greater belief in His grace than we could ever have without it.

Imagine walking into a reception room full of spiritually gifted, anointed people waiting with great anticipation for the Lord to enter. But you look down at yourself and realize that you are clothed in rags and not at all dressed for the occasion. You feel completely unworthy to be there. As the others in the room begin to stare at you, you sink down into total unworthiness. But then Jesus walks up from behind, puts His arm around you, and announces to all those in the room, “This one is with me. He is my special guest.” That is the gift of righteousness. Jesus accepts you and makes you righteous in His sight.

The gift of righteousness abolishes sin-consciousness and unworthiness and allows the gifts of God’s grace and mercy to flow to you.

Doctrinal vs. Practical

Most, if not all, scriptural truths have both legal and doctrinal aspects to them and can be viewed from either perspective. Righteousness falls into that category, as does justification, sanctification, wisdom, and redemption. These treasures were both legally and doctrinally made unto us and for us by the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, according to 1 Corinthians 1:30.

But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. ~1 Corinthians 1:30

It is undeniably an act of God’s grace and mercy that we have these things. The reason for this gift is explained in the previous verse—that no flesh should glory in His presence (1 Corinthians 1:29). The blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ alone made it available for those who believe in Him to receive these gifts of God’s goodness.

Yet, even though we have received these gifts through Christ’s sacrifice, there is still a practical side to walking in all of them. To help understand this practical side, we will look at the Greek word for “receive” in Romans 5:17, which is lambano. This word means to receive something and use it. In other words, we don’t just receive it and then just let it sit idly by without doing something useful with it.  

For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. ~Romans 5:17

For these gifts to be beneficial, they must be used. Even though we would be deemed righteous in a true spiritual court of law and are viewed that way in heaven, we will not see the benefits of it here on earth if we do not tap into the abundance of grace God has given us. The Scriptures hold practical keys that can help us experience the gift of righteousness that God has given us through Christ.

What Does the Gift of Righteousness Do?

The gift of righteousness cleanses your spirit of sin, transgression, and iniquity, preparing the way for the Holy Spirit to live in you. The price that was paid for this gift and for your forgiveness was the precious, sinless blood of Jesus Christ. When He shed His innocent blood, it was so that the gift of righteousness could be given to you. His blood was the payment for your justification. The verb form of justification is “justified.” (We like to remember it through the phrase, “Just as if I’d never sinned.”) Once you have received this gift, your fellowship with God is secured and your spirit is made righteous for all eternity.

Before Jesus shed His blood on the cross, righteousness depended upon things that people did, such as keeping the law. Obeying God is always the right thing to do, but in His great love for us God gave us the gift of righteousness so that we could stand in His presence without any sense of sin, guilt, or condemnation. This reminds me of my college days when I got into a lot of trouble and was just plain guilty. I lied to my Mom and Dad for over a year, and it almost drove me to a drug addiction because the guilt was so strong in my heart. When I finally came to myself like the prodigal son, I went to my Dad and told him the truth. He said he had known all along, but felt that he had to wait for me to be convicted by God to be honest and repent. I will never forget him saying, “I love you son and I always will. I forgive you for lying to me—now let’s see what we can do to keep you out of jail.” That kind of unconditional love prompted me to do better and motivated me to live a holy life. This is what the gift of righteousness does for us: it demonstrates our heavenly Father’s love to such a degree that we do not want to sin and disappoint Him.

So not only does this gift make you worthy to stand in His presence; it also motivates us to live a holy and righteous life. When lived out practically, the gift of righteousness will destroy the faith blockers of condemnation and other hindrances that keep us from living the fullness of life God wants for us.

Righteousness Makes You Worthy to Receive God’s Promises

From the bottom of my heart, the truth that righteousness makes you worthy to receive God’s promises is why I am writing this article. I have been in the miracle business for a long time and ministered God’s promises to many people. And yet, I have witnessed multiple times when God’s gift of healing or provision is not received—simply because the recipient does not feel worthy enough.

In reality, there are only two things you can do with a gift. You can either take it or leave it. Our heavenly Father made us worthy to receive His promises via His great gift of righteousness.

Once you have received it as a gift, it is yours; yet it still needs to be applied and used, not just received and possessed. The way this is done is by grasping and applying the worthiness you already have through His gift of righteousness. It doesn’t matter if you are applying it so that you can have the faith to minister to someone or if you are doing it to overcome feelings of unworthiness. As I said before, there have been times that the Lord has provided me with a gift of grace to give to someone, i.e., a gift of healing or a miracle, but the person thinks that he is not good enough to receive it. The gift of righteousness, when it is received and used properly, will destroy that sense of unworthiness and allow the promise of God to flow freely into that person.  

One of my spiritual sons recently gave me a new pistol. Although I had copious pistols destroyed in my house fire a couple of years ago, none were as nice as this one. I was overjoyed to say the least. As he handed it to me, I was overcome and did not feel worthy to receive it. He had also made a beautiful leather holster and engraved my initials into it. As I looked at it and then at him, tears filled my eyes and I said, “Are you sure you want to give this to me?” He calmly replied, “I have been waiting six months to give this to you.” I now reflect upon that incident and see that what the Lord taught me through it is worth more than the pistol itself. It was a gift from my spiritual son’s heart and I learned to overcome my feelings of unworthiness and receive it with gratitude.

This is so similar to receiving God’s promises. Not only did He make His many promises available by His grace but He also gave us the gift of righteousness so that we could receive them. He prepared His promises for you a long time ago, but only as you recognize that you are worthy can you now receive them.

Righteous by Faith

“Faith” is the noun form of the verb “believe.” It is also a substantive noun, meaning it is not an abstract concept but an actual commodity. The Bible is quite clear that our righteousness now comes from faith, or believing. Your faith in what Christ did for you puts that gift of righteousness in you. And faith (or believing) is how it is used and applied.

And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith. ~Philippians 3:9

In reality, you are as righteous as God because you received His gift. Yet, how righteous do you believe you are? Doctrinally, you are as righteous as God; but practically, you are as righteous as you believe you are.

Do you believe that God has given you the gift of righteousness? To really believe it, you must magnify God’s goodness and gift over your feelings of unworthiness.

I was recently ministering to a very close friend whose hand was swollen from an injury. As I held his hand in mine, I felt the gift of healing in my own hands—yet it was not moving into his hand. I stopped mid-sentence, because I knew if the faith blocker was not removed, the healing would not manifest. I looked at him and said, “You know that God has forgiven your sins and that by the gift of righteousness you are worthy to receive this.” He exhaled a big breath and responded softly, “The reason my hand is hurt is because I got mad and hit a wall.” He continued, “I know that I will not be healed if I don’t receive God’s forgiveness and forgive myself.” I reminded him of the gift of righteousness, and as he gave up his guilt and believed he was righteous by grace and not by his works, the healing flowed into his hand and we both witnessed the swelling diminish immediately in front of our eyes.

This is where the application of the gift of righteousness is vital—it enables you to forgive yourself. When Jesus healed the man of lameness after he was let down through the hole in the roof (Mark 2:1–12), He said, “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk?’ But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go your way to your house.”

The reason the man had the infirmity is because of sin and sin-consciousness. When Jesus pronounced the forgiveness of sin, the man believed it, got up, took up his bed, and walked out of the room. Jesus helped him by forgiving his sins. Now we can do the same thing by receiving the gift of righteousness through faith, thus recognizing the forgiveness of our sins. And we can help others do the same so that they recognize that their sins are forgiven, which then removes the faith blockers so that they also can receive God’s other promises.


We have been given the gift of righteousness by our faith in Jesus Christ. Now believe it! You will never be any more righteous than you are right now. Since our Christian walk began by grace, why should we think it is any different now? Receive the gift of righteousness and recognize your worthiness. The gift of righteousness removes the faith blockers of sin-consciousness and unworthiness and allows the promises of God to come to you.

Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. ~James 3:18

Once the gift of righteousness is given to you, continuing to walk in that right standing with God and His Word will produce a peace in you that is beyond description. His peace will permeate your whole being, making you a walking billboard of His quiet acquiescence everywhere you go.
This is receiving the gift of righteousness “into usage” so that its fruit is evidenced in you.

Do you believe you are righteous? You are righteous by God’s grace and His gift of righteousness. Do not allow sin or any feeling of unworthiness stand in the way of receiving His promises.

For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. ~Romans 5:17

Those of us who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by Jesus Christ. Believe it and walk in it!  

©2019 Dale M. Sides

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Delivered from the Shadow of Death (and Translated into the Light of Glory)

©2019 Dale M. Sides

Note: I researched this topic in a quest to re-dig the wellspring of hope for a dear friend of mine who is struggling with stage 4 liver cancer. While in the midst of it, I discovered a promise that I believe can touch and refresh all of us.

Anyone familiar with the 23rd Psalm has heard of “the shadow of death.” This blog posting is about that phrase and its interpretation, which is of great significance to all of us. From what I could see online, I don’t believe there has been much done on this subject, so I hope you will enjoy this new insight. The reason this has significance is because it validates Jesus Christ as our perfect and complete Redeemer. Not only did He redeem New Testament saints with His blood, but He also delivered Old Testament believers (those who looked for His coming) out of a place called “the Shadow of Death” and into the light of their inheritance called “Paradise.”

The Bible Dictionary definition of “shadow of death” is “thick darkness;” and that is an accurate description, because it depicts the hopelessness of the kingdom of darkness. As we go deeper into this phrase, we will see that it is about a prophetic promise of the Messiah that will sustain and strengthen us in times of suffering and duress. So, this is much more than a biblical exercise or mind stretcher—it is a truth that will add steel to the backbone of your commitment to Jesus Christ.

The conclusion of this research is that Jesus Christ delivered all the Old Testament believers from the Shadow of Death and took them into the light of Paradise. This is also the promise of where we are going too when our spirit leaves our body. We will be translated into a kingdom of light and glory and not into the Shadow of Death and Hell.

A synopsis of my conclusion is this:

·         The blood of Jesus paid it back for Old Testament believers and paid it forward for New Testament believers.
·         He is the Light of the world.
·         He has delivered us out of the kingdom of darkness.

What is the Shadow of Death?

The phrase “the Shadow of Death” can be used of a place as well as a way to describe thick darkness. It can also mean an ominous feeling or fear of death. The Bible makes clear that the Shadow of Death is most definitely a place, as well as a description of what it was like there. In this blog post, when I write the Shadow of Death (upper-cased), I am referring to a place, but when I write the shadow of death (lower-cased), it is referring to a fear of dying and being stranded in thick darkness.

Specifically in our application, the word “death” can be capitalized when it is referring to the principality of Death who oversees one of the regions of Hades (Revelation 6:8). Note: “Hell” is also sometimes used as a reference to a prince of the underworld of the kingdom of darkness.

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. ~Revelation 6:8

Within the region that Death rules over is a section that Jesus called “Abraham’s bosom.” He directly referred to this region in Luke 16:22ff.

So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. ~Luke 16:22–23

Some commentators call this section of Scripture a parable, but Jesus was speaking of a literal place. He called it “Abraham’s bosom” in honor of Abraham who is called “the father of all that believe.” In Jewish lore, it is believed that Abraham stood at the door of Gehenna, the lower pit of torment and pain in Hell, and looked for the sign of the covenant with Yahweh upon those who were entering. Those with the covenant mark entered Abraham’s bosom while those who did not have the covenant mark went on into Gehenna, the place of torment. Abraham’s bosom is the same place that is called the Shadow of Death. It seems that when the writer is referencing this location from a motivation of fear (in order to lead people to repentance), he writes it as “the Shadow of Death;” but when it is referenced as “Abraham’s bosom,” it emphasizes the loving care and compassion of the Lord for the captives and a promise of their future deliverance.

The hope of Old Testament saints who believed in Messiah’s coming was that they would go to the Shadow of Death (Abraham’s bosom) when they died and not into the deeper recesses of Hell (Gehenna).

Israel had no inheritance in heaven until Christ came and paid the ransom for their souls to be rescued. There are different compartments in Hell as the book of 1 Enoch chapter 22 shows. (See http://wesley.nnu.edu/index.php?id=2126.) Abraham’s bosom (the Shadow of Death) was reserved for the righteous dead in the kingdom of the underworld, for those who looked forward to Messiah’s coming. There are even deeper places prepared for those who worked evil against the purposes of God. But those who believed in Messiah’s coming as Job did (Job 19:25) were taken by angels to Abraham’s bosom when they died. There they sat in “thick darkness,” waiting for the coming Light of the world. Job said the following:

Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little, Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death; A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death [Shadow of Death], without any order, and where the light is as darkness.     ~Job 10:20–22

These statements by Job validate the Shadow of Death as a place, and this is where Job said he was going. He was saying in a paraphrased way, “Leave me alone; I am going to die. Will you not give me a few moments of peace before I go to the Shadow of Death?”

In Job 38:17, God asked Job the following question.

Have the gates of death been revealed to you? Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death [the Shadow of Death]? ~Job 38:17

This place was known even as far back as Job (the book of Job is thought by many to be the oldest book in the Bible). The phrase “Shadow of Death” occurs five times in Job, and King David read Job, since it was even older than the Pentateuch. Thoughts of this place became so ominous that “shadow of death” led to the connotation of “death angels coming from Death like vultures.” In Psalm 23, David said that even when he walked “through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” This comparison to the Shadow of Death describes the most frightening situation possible, yet David said he had no fear because his Shepherd guarded him.

David also said in Psalm 16:10 that God would not leave his soul in hell (the Shadow of Death) nor would He allow the Holy One (the Messiah that David believed on) to see corruption. David, along with all the believers who looked for Messiah’s coming, from Adam to John the Baptist, was assigned to the Shadow of Death, or Abraham’s bosom, until the ransom for their sins had been paid.

All of these Old Testament believers sat in darkness until the Light appeared. The Shadow of Death was called this because the principality of Death held them captive, as the Bible says, “behind iron bars and bronze gates.” These gates were the gates of hell, and Jesus has the keys to Death and Hell (Revelation 1:18).

Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, Bound in affliction and irons—Because they rebelled against the words of God, And despised the counsel of the Most High, Therefore He brought down their heart with labor; They fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death [Shadow of Death], And broke their chains in pieces. Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He has broken the gates of bronze, And cut the bars of iron in two. Fools, because of their transgression, And because of their iniquities, were afflicted. Their soul abhorred all manner of food, And they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions. Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! ~Psalm 107:10–21

Psalm 107:10–21 speaks not only of sitting in darkness on earth because of rebellion against the Lord, but it also speaks prophetically concerning those who would sit in the Shadow of Death/Abraham’s bosom and would someday be rescued out of it by the Messiah. These things were also prophesied in Psalm 24 where the command is given to “Lift up your heads, O you gates.”

Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! And lift them up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah. ~Psalm 24:7–10

The good news is that King David was right—Jesus did not leave him in the Shadow of Death but translated him into Paradise—out of the thick darkness and into the light.

For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. ~Psalm 16:10–11

The story of what happened when Jesus led the captives out of darkness is amazing, to say the least. What happened when the Light of the world invaded the kingdom of darkness?

What Happened to the Shadow of Death?

What do you think happened when the Light of the world invaded the kingdom of darkness and ripped the gates of Hell and the doors of the Shadow of Death off their foundations? Total confusion came upon the kingdom of darkness! Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace, but when He (the King of Glory) lifted up the gates of Hell and broke down the doors of the Shadow of Death, there was utter chaos within the evil kingdom. When He entered the domain of darkness, the whole cavern of Abraham’s bosom was filled with overwhelming light!

The King of Glory went to Hell immediately after He died. What kind of attitude do you think He had?

Ephesians 4:8–10 shares a truth that is often overlooked, even though it is in the oldest versions of the Apostle’s Creed.

Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.” (Now this, “He ascended”— what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) ~Ephesians 4:8–10

It says that when He ascended up to heaven, He led captivity captive, but before He did, He descended into the lower parts of the earth to rescue the captives. The captured ones He took captive were the occupants of the Shadow of Death (or Abraham’s bosom, as Jesus more clearly defined it.)

Some denominations include the phrase “he descended into hell” in their Apostles Creed, and it is properly supplied. Jesus went into hell, specifically into Abraham’s bosom, the Shadow of Death. He plundered it and rescued all the captives.

Note: Jesus also descended deeper into the kingdom of darkness and witnessed to the spirits in prison (1 Peter 3:19), which means that not only did He plunder Abraham’s bosom but He also appeared to the spirits in Tartarus, the deepest pit in Sheol (1 Peter 3:19–20; 1 Enoch 20:1–3). The book of Jubilees exhumed from the Dead Sea Scrolls reveals that before the flood of Noah, the fallen angels were bound in a pit (Jubilees 5:6). That pit’s Greek name was Tartarus (2 Peter 2:4).

Jesus went to hell so that we wouldn’t have to. He went to rescue the sons of Adam who embraced His coming and He went even deeper into Tartarus to show Himself to the spirits in chains to remind them of their stupidity and that judgment was soon coming.

So, what happened to the region called the Shadow of Death? The Light of the world invaded the kingdom of darkness and rescued the spirits of righteous men and women after His blood had been shed as payment for their sins. He took them to Paradise and into the kingdom of Light and Glory. Jesus emptied Abraham’s bosom and cleaned out the Shadow of Death.

·         Jesus paid it backwards for the Old Testament believers, and
·         He paid it forward for New Testament saints.

The Gospel of Nicodemus

The ancient but reliable Gospel of Nicodemus manuscript contributes some valuable information to the discussion of what happened to Abraham’s bosom or the Shadow of Death. It documents the emptying of the Shadow of Death, the lifting of the gates of hell, and testimonies of the Old Testament believers who had sat in darkness waiting for the coming of the Light of the world. This apocryphal book is dated as far back as the 3rd century, and its place in the canon of Scripture has been debated for many years. Its message and story line agree perfectly with the Scriptures on this subject, but it also provides some tremendous enlightenment concerning Christ’s descent into Hell. (The Gospel of Nicodemus is available online at http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/lbob/lbob10.htm.)

The Gospel of Nicodemus centers around the witness of two men who were raised up out of Abraham’s bosom, or the Shadow of Death, as Matthew 27:52 and 53 chronicles.

And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. ~Matthew 27:52–53 KJV

Nicodemus writes that two men—sons of Simeon, the prophet who witnessed baby Jesus’ arrival at the temple—arose out of the Shadow of Death as they were rescued by the Lord of Glory. They sat silently in the temple for two days waiting for the Lord's permission to speak. These men had only recently died, so they were known by the regulars in the temple who obviously were aware that they had died and probably grieved over them at their memorial services. Now here they were again, raised up from the dead and sitting in the temple! Then, by permission of the Lord, they testified of what took place when the Light of the world invaded the kingdom of darkness. There were two of them bearing witness, which was required according to Old Testament law, and each gave a separate testimony. If you have never read this book, you ought to—and if you have, you should read it again! It shows the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and His triumph over Death and Hell and Satan. This book’s entire story line shows that Pilate and the elders of Israel finally discovered that they had, in fact and truth, crucified the King of Glory. The primary convincing event was the raising of these two men from the dead who testified to the fulfillment of Scripture—including the foretelling of Psalm 16:10 and the events described in Ephesians 4:9 and 10. (This may be the reason that Nicodemus was excluded from the Canon of scripture because it reveals that the Romans did in fact kill the Messiah.)

The plot of the Gospel of Nicodemus thickens in chapter 13 just after Yahweh’s Son Yeshua dies, descends into this region of Hell, and cleans out Abraham’s bosom—and He enters this place completely sinless! This means that Hell and Death had no hold on Him. It was only because of sin that even those who believed in the coming of Christ had to go to this holding place in Hell. They had to wait for the payment to be made so that they could ascend out of darkness and into the light.

In the Nicodemus account, a huge bolt of lightning suddenly appears in this place in Hell, so hot and bright that it looked like a purple Sun, and it blinded everyone who sat in darkness. This was the Light of the world invading darkness, and total chaos ensued. Death, Hell, and Satan were paralyzed at the shock and awe of the Light’s appearance in total darkness. Immediately Adam, the father of mankind, screamed for delight and testified, “I knew you would not leave me here!” Isaiah verified this prophecy when he said that “the people who sat in darkness saw a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned” (Matthew 4:16). David said, “Did I not tell you that He would not leave my soul in hell or allow the flesh of the Holy One to see corruption?" Then Simeon testified of seeing Him in the temple just before he died, and the joy crescendos with John the Baptist’s shout.

And now while I was going before him, I came down hither to acquaint you, that the Son of God will next visit us, and as the day-spring from on high, will come to us, who are in darkness and the shadow of death [Shadow of Death]. ~Gospel of Nicodemus 13:14

What follows is fascinating. It concludes with all the elders and even Pilate admitting that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Son of the Living God, that they had crucified Him and that He had risen from the dead. This piece of information is so astoundingly significant—not just to us who believe, but to the world!

The Gospel of Nicodemus not only reveals that there is consciousness after leaving our physical bodies, but it also discloses the truth of Christ’s redemption. This should increase mankind's fear and reverence of God.

Translated into the Kingdom of Paradise

There is a priceless gem of truth waiting for us to uncover and polish, and as we do, it will shine in our treasure chest of hope forever. We have been delivered out of the Shadow of Death and translated into the light of the kingdom of Jesus Christ—which is in Paradise!

Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. ~Colossians 1:12–13

In my daily Bible readings, I try to be sensitive to what the Lord wants me to read and study. I usually have an idea where He is directing me to go the next day just before I turn the light off and go to sleep. Recently, it seems that the Lord would not let me leave the first chapter of Colossians. I was already familiar with this chapter, to the point I could pretty much quote it from memory, so I knew it wasn’t just that I was supposed to memorize it. I believed there had to be a treasure within it that He wanted to reveal to me—something I had not noticed before. So, for about a week straight I simply read it, and then one morning as I was doing that, a truth flooded my soul and I felt God’s presence come upon me as the revelation of this truth filled my heart. Although the title of this blog post may seem dramatic (“Delivered from the Shadow of Death”), the beauty of this revelation is that we have been delivered from the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of Light—the kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ—we have been translated into Paradise! This is the truth that will really enlighten our souls!

I also want to point out that the NKJV has verse 12 translated correctly, it is “partakers of the saints into the light." The word “the” is properly supplied in the NKJV because it is a place. It could actually be translated The Light. That place is further described in verse 13. The inhabitants were in the kingdom of darkness but now they are translated into the kingdom of Light.

It is interesting that the Greek word that is translated into English as “to be partakers” means to make someone adequate or to qualify someone. Verse 14 shows what qualified us for the kingdom of the Son of His love.

In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:14

The blood of Jesus was the payment for both the Old Testament and New Testament believers to be qualified for the inheritance in the Light—Paradise. The blood of Jesus was and is the payment for the sins of past and present. The blood of Jesus qualifies us!

What a Redeemer and Savior. What a plan of redemption and salvation. He not only paid it forward for the New Testament saints but He also paid it backward for the Old Testament believers who waited for His coming.

In Closing

If you have embraced the Lordship of Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah and Savior of the world and have pleaded His blood for your righteousness, upon your departure from your body you will ascend by angels into the Kingdom of the Son of Righteousness and the Light of world. You never have to fear a deep, dark cavern of separation from God.

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” ~John 8:12

Although the light of the world is literally/physically the Sun; the Son claimed it in personification as the King of the kingdom of Light. When the Light of the world invaded the kingdom of darkness, He ransacked and destroyed it as He said He would. He descended into Hell and delivered the children of promise who sat in darkness in Abraham’s bosom waiting for the price for sin to be paid. When the King of the kingdom of Light gave His life, when His spirit and soul left His body, He knew that He would descend into Hell as all mankind had done—except He went there completely free of sin. He therefore qualified as the payment for the captives to be led captive to Paradise.

·         If we had coined a descriptive code name for Jesus’ (spiritual) military invasion upon earth, it could have been: Plunder Hell and Populate Heaven!

Jesus paid it forward for all of us to be redeemed. It is a message we can never hear enough and it should drive us to our knees. How would you feel if your only hope when you leave your body is to descend into Hell and sit in darkness?

The King of Glory has come. He tore the bronze gates and iron bars off of Hell. He paid the price of a sinless life with His blood and took the keys from Death and Hell. Death and Hell could not hold Him because He was the Redeemer and King of Glory. He rescued the Old Testament believers and also paid the price for redemption for those who would follow.

The 23rd Psalm is perhaps the most well known of all psalms, showing the future type of Messiah as Shepherd, but Psalm 24 reveals Him as the King of Glory. The entirety of Psalm 24 is directed to those who the Lord would deliver out of the Shadow of Death and even gives guidelines on how to qualify for Abraham’s bosom until the time of redemption would be paid.

And so, I’d like to close with this psalm to honor the King of Glory who invaded Hell and rescued our brothers and sisters who are now dwelling in the Light in Paradise.

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein.
For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the waters.
Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully:
He shall receive blessing from the LORD,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face. Selah
Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates! And lift them up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah
~Psalm 24:1–10

We have been delivered from the Shadow of Death and translated into the Light of the kingdom of the Son of God. He is the Light of the world.