The apostle Paul makes the following declaration: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be revealed toward us. For the creation waits with eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of decay into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. Not only so, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for adoption, the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:18-23). We read the following frightening revelations in this text:
1. All creation is subject to a malignant, dark and unjust power.
2. The malignant yoke to which creation is subjected is VANITY. What is vanity? Vanity is vain and empty things; desire to shine, to attract the admiration of others; ridiculous presumption; fatuity; ostentation; vainglory. The opposite of vanity is modesty. The definition of vanity faithfully represents the world where we live. Solomon, the sage, said: ‘Avel avalim, amar koelet, avel valim, avel, avel.’ In Portuguese, “Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity’” (Eccl. 1:2). The rich is vain about the wealth he possesses; the wise is vain about his wisdom; the king is vain about his throne and his power; the singer is vain about his fame; the poet, of his gift; the physical beauty of a woman is her vanity, even if she is ignorant; theatric actors are vain; fashion feeds on vanity; rings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, jewelry, and earrings are all vanity. The dwellers of a great nation are proud. The muscular man walks about showing his biceps. Vanity is the mother of all evils. A man of great commercial ability values himself. The act of valuing himself shows vanity and leads to pride. The same thing happens in other areas of human activity. There was a time in which a prostitute would hide in shame. Nowadays it is chic to immodestly exhibit the body. The fact is that the world is under a dark and malignant government of corruption. The text of Paul reveals the slavery of corruption.
3. There are not any children of God in this dark sphere of hatred, treason, wars, pestilences, lies, atrocities, crimes, thefts, sodomy, lesbianism, adulteries, pedophilia, bestialities, vices, drugs, seduction, illusions and deceit, for Paul says that the creature will be delivered from the slavery to corruption unto the freedom of the glory of the children of God. And creation moans with the pains of birth (Rom. 8:21-22). As God, the Father does not give birth to children of the flesh, there were no children of God until Jesus. The apostle John declares, concerning the incarnation of Jesus Christ: “But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become God’s children, to those who believe in his name: who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13). The children of god came only with the New Testament.
4. If creation was subjected to vanity, under a slavery to corruption that was imposed by a diabolic power, God, the Father, was not in the government of this world, for the exact reason that this world is an abyss (Ps. 104:5-6), and the abyss is the dwelling place of the dead (Rom. 10:6-7), and the abyss is the hell, where Satan rules (Is. 14:13-15), and God does not sit on the throne of Satan.
All Christendom, of all denominations, hears the theologians preach about the greatest of all Bible characters. In the days of Joseph, in Egypt, the people of Israel greatly multiplied. With the death of Joseph the new Pharaoh imposed a heavy burden on the people — an unbearable yoke. Jehovah appeared to Moses on the bush and sent him as a deliverer, with a miraculous rod. With this rod, Moses performed great signs, bringing about terrible plagues. The tenth plague, which was the death of the firstborn, finished off Pharaoh, who let the people go free to the Land of Canaan, a blessed and fruitful land (Ex. 3:7-10).
All the interpreters preach that Egypt is the figure of the world in which we live. The Hebrew people’s slavery is the figure of the slavery of sin. The People of Israel is the figure of the Christians. Moses is the figure of Jesus. Pharaoh is the figure of Satan, as Ezekiel says: “Thus says the Lord Jehovah: ‘Behold, I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great monster’” (Ezek. 29:3). And we read in Revelations that the dragon is Satan (Rev. 12:9). Therefore, in the same way in which Israel was submitted to Pharaoh, the people of God, that is to say, Christendom, is submitted to Satan, and not to God. The figure must be complete. This is why John declares that the world lays in the evil one (1 John 5:19). And Paul also declares that all creation was subjected to vanity, and to the slavery of corruption until the incarnation of Jesus. If it was submitted to the satanic power and to darkness, God was not in the government of this world.
How could Jehovah have declared that he is in the government of this world? “For the kingdom is Jehovah ‘s. He is the ruler over the nations” (Ps. 22:28). “He rules by his might forever. His eyes watch the nations. Don’t let the rebellious rise up against him. Selah” (Ps. 66:7). “Say among the nations, ‘Jehovah reigns.’ The world is also established. It can’t be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity” (Ps. 96:10).
If, in all logic, God was not in the government of this world prior to Christ, and Jehovah affirmed that he was governing this world, either Jehovah was subordinate to the malignant power, or he was overcame by the evil one, or Jehovah is the evil one. The fact is that Jehovah declares that all and any evil that befalls a city comes from him (Amos 3:6). How can it come from him, if all creation is now subject to vanity by the will of a malignant power of corruption?
Thanks to God, Jesus has come down from heaven and said: “From that time, Jesus began to preach, and to say, ‘Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand’” (Matt. 4:17).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira