216 – THE POWERS OF DARKNESS
When Jehovah gave the Law to his people Israel from the top of Mount Sinai, he also commanded them to build an altar, specifying, “You shall make an altar of earth for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you” (Ex. 20:24-26). A thousand years after that, Jehovah denied that he had commanded Moses, by the mouth of Jeremiah: “Thus says Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat flesh, for I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices’” (Jer. 7:21-22).
There is a second unexplainable issue to the reader of the Bible: Jehovah was the one who spoke within the dark cloud at the top of Mount Sinai. “And Moses went up to God, and Jehovah called him from the mountain, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel’” (Ex. 19:3). “And Jehovah said to Moses, ‘Behold, I shall come to you in a thick cloud, in order that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe in you forever’” (Ex. 19:9). “And let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day Jehovah will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all people” (Ex. 19:11). “And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because Jehovah descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder” (Ex. 19:17-19). It is thus proven that the one speaking from the mountain was Jehovah. “Then God spoke all these words, saying, ‘I am Jehovah your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery’” (Ex. 20:1-2). “Remember the day you stood before Jehovah your God at Horeb, when Jehovah said to me, ‘Assemble the people to Me, that I may let them hear My words so they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’ And you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the very heart of the heavens: darkness, cloud and thick gloom. The Jehovah spoke to you from the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of words, but you saw no form—only a voice. So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the ten commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone” (Deut. 4:10-13). The one who spoke from the top of Sinai was Jehovah. “Then Jehovah said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, “You yourselves have seen that I have spoken to you from heaven”’” (Ex. 20:22).
If the Bible proves that Jehovah spoke on Mount Sinai, having descended on it (Ex. 19:11), why did Stephen, the first martyr, affirm that it was an angel? “This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, ‘God shall raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren.’ This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness TOGETHER WITH THE ANGEL WHO WAS SPEAKING TO HIM ON MOUNT SINAI” (Acts 7:37-38). And Stephen continues, saying, “You who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it” (Acts 7:53).
The apostle Paul agreed with Stephen when he wrote in the letter to the Galatians, “Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed should come to whom the promise had been made. Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one” (Gal. 3:19-20). In the letter to the Hebrews, we read, “For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard” (Heb. 2:2-3).
There is a third question to analyze: Why was Jehovah covered by darkness on Mount Sinai, if God is light, and light disperses the darkness? The answer is simple: because Jehovah is not light. If he were, there would not be darkness on the mount. The texts that reveal this truth are: “So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was” (Ex. 20:21). “And you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the very heart of the heavens: darkness, cloud and thick gloom” (Deut. 4:11). The answer shines out. There are spiritually three kinds of darkness. They are:
- The darkness of evil. “And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).
- The darkness of the Levitical Priesthood, for we read in the Gospels, “Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, in order that they might put Him to death” (Matt. 26:59). “Now when morning had come, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put Him to death” (Matt. 27:1). “And Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders who had come against Him, ‘Have you come out with swords and clubs as against a robber? While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; BUT THIS HOUR AND THE POWER OF DARKNESS ARE YOURS” (Luke 22:52-53).
- The darkness of the adversary angels. Paul declares, “For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col. 1:13). These powers and rulers work against the Christians and against the Church, led by Satan (Acts 26:18). Paul reveals that the angels are siding with these rulers and powers to separate the Christians from the Father(Rom. 8:38-39). What is very amazing about this infernal world is that Jehovah is hidden behind this hideous darkness. “HE MADE DARKNESS HIS HIDING PLACE, HIS CANOPY AROUND HIM, DARKNESS OF WATERS” (Ps. 18:11).
We can now understand why Moses declared that Jehovah was the one who gave the Law: also why Stephen and Paul affirm that the angels gave it. Jehovah was hidden behind those angels, and so there was darkness on Mount Sinai. They were darkness of wickedness, of the princes of the priests that killed Jesus (1 Cor. 2:8). Jehovah was also behind the principalities and powers, which fight against the Christians to take them down from the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12).
Before the coming of Christ, these principalities and powers of darkness ruled men through the carnal desires, and when Jehovah ruled as god (Ps. 47:2, 7-8; Jer. 10:7). The apostle Paul reveals this to us.“In which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is no working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest” (Eph. 2:2-3).
by PASTOR OLAVO SILVEIRA PEREIRA