TD Jakes - The Light of Shadows
When Moses gets ready to embody and say, "Who shall I say sent me"? God said, "You can't even handle it. You don't even have a word. You don't have a word to describe what I am. I am so much. All I want you to do is go down there and tell Pharaoh I am that I am, 'cause your language is limited. Your language is crippled". You have to understand that language is crippled. When I was teaching Wednesday night, last Wednesday night, I was telling you how the King James version came into being and how all the subsequent versions came into being, and understanding that language is limited, and the more we understand about the original language, the closer we get to deeper understandings of what God is saying, and then language changes meanings with time.
And so, you have all of these revisions, not because God is revised but language is limited. If I took you to Israel today, the Hebrew that they're speaking over there now is not the Hebrew that they were speaking years ago because language evolves and it changes and it flows and it means different things at different times. So I could say "there," T-H-E-R-E, or I could say "their," T-H-E-I-R, or I could say "they're," T-H-E-Y, apostrophe, R-E, and it all sounded the same but it all meant something different, or if I say I love you and you say I love you, it doesn't mean that what I meant by love is what you meant by love because language is limited.
So, language cannot afford God. Do you understand what I'm saying? Language goes bankrupt trying to describe God because God is infinite. He is everlasting. He is immutable. He is eternal. He is sovereign. He is the mighty God. He is the everlasting Father. He is the Prince of Peace. And so, language goes bankrupt trying to define God because God is beyond any word that you will ever come up with in order to explain his majesty. Oh, if I had the tongues of men and of angels, I still would be at a deficit to describe the magnitude of who God is.
So when God begins to start to talk to us through the written Word of God, now, I wanna go back and underscore when we start talking about the Bible and we start talking about the Word of God, we're talking about two different things, okay? Because we know that the Bible is not all of the Word of God because before there was pen and paper, there was the Word, because John said in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. That means before we had hieroglyphics, before we had language, before we had a pen, before we had paper, there was Word. When God said, "Let there be light," there was nobody there to write it, but God was sovereign, and he spoke it. There was no secretary there to type it, but his Word still went out. Man should not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
So when you start talking about the Bible, it is a collection, a canonical collection, of memoirs that reveals God's Word, but it does not reveal all of God's Word, because God yet speaketh. Are you hearing what I'm saying? So what we have is a collection of clues that point us into a deeper revelation of who God is. And so, we have no more of him than we have of his Word. We study his Word that we might learn him, okay, because all you know about me is all I say about me. So I'm not studying the Word so that I can, just so that I can impress people with how many scriptures I can quote. I am studying the Word of God that I might discern God through the written Word of God and perceive a God that is beyond what we can write. I don't care. You go on these annual readings of the Word of God, going through the Bible in a year and all of that.
If you could quote the entire Bible, you could not summarize God. God cannot be locked up between Genesis and Revelations. He transcends the limitations of all of the Bible written down. God is God. He always will be God. He moves however he wants to move. He heals whoever he wants to heal. You can't get a recipe on him. He's sovereign. He can do whatever he wants to do. One blind man, he speaks to him; another blind man, he touches him; another blind man, he spits in his eye. He said, "I can do it however I want to do. I bring one up. I take one down. I'm God".
Do you hear what I'm saying? Because if you get down to a recipe, if you could understand him, you would be God. He said, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways. As high as the heavens are above the earth so are my thoughts above your thoughts and my ways above your ways. I am God, and beside me, there is no other". He said, "I looked for a God. I looked for someone to swear by that was greater than myself, and finding nothing greater than myself, I swear by myself". Are you following what I'm saying? "I swear by myself that surely blessings I will bless thee, and multiplying, I will multiply thee".
So what we do when we start studying and delving into the Word of God, we're looking for clues like detectives that will reveal our God, and I want to direct your attention. I want to... first of all, let me show you the value of shadows and types. You have to begin by realizing that the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, okay, because there is but one God. The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed. The New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. Now, what you see right now is a shadow, okay? You can't box a shadow. You can't fight a shadow. You can't cut a shadow. You see a shadow, but anytime you see a shadow, there is an object somewhere in light.
The shadow is evidence that an object exists. The shadow is not the object, but it is evidence of the object, and it is a sign that the object exists, and the reason you see my shadow waving his hand is because I am waving my hand, so the shadows in the Old Testament are giving you a picture show of the sovereign, mighty, invincible power of God, his purpose, his plan, his providence, his ways, his methods. I'm talking about shadows tonight, and we study the shadows like detectives because if the shadow moves, God has moved. If the shadow is still, God is still. If he's walking in the shadow, then he's walking in reality because the shadow cannot move of itself. Are you hearing what I'm saying?
Let me show you. So, Joseph is a beloved son of God, the son of his father. He is a beloved son of his father. Even as Christ is a... leave it now, even as Christ is the beloved Son of his Father. He has a coat of many colors that was made and placed on him, and Christ comes and wraps himself up in human flesh. He is hated by his brethren and Christ comes, and he's rejected by his brethren. Christ is sold for 30 pieces of silver. Joseph was sold to the Midianites for 20 pieces of silver. Are you following what I'm saying? They ended up with Joseph in prison, okay? And because of Joseph being in prison, both the butler and the baker were able to escape.
Christ goes into the lower parts of the earth and looses those that were in prison, so much so that when he dies, the Bible says when Christ died, graves opened up all over the, Jerusalem and dead men were seen walking the streets. So Joseph going in causes the butler and the baker to get out. Are you following what I'm saying? And then he rises up out of prison, he goes in as an inmate. He goes in as a prisoner. He comes out as a prophet. He is raised to a prince. Oh, I got my spyglass out. I'm looking for clues about Jesus.
Now, Joseph whole life is a portrayal of what God is going to do in Jesus Christ. Let me go to Genesis 22 for a minute. "Take now thy son, thine only son". Listen at that language. "Take now thy son, thine only son. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son". So Abraham is doing with Isaac is a shadow. It's a shadow of what God is going to do with Jesus. So when Abraham looks up and he sees a place afar off, he says to the servant, "Stay here with the asses. Me and the lad are going yonder to worship". And they both went up together because this is a covenant with God, with the father and the son. The Crucifixion was a covenant between the Father and the Son. Did he not say, "Father, if it be thy will, pass this bitter cup from me"? And then he says, "Not my will, but thine be done".
And here the grown Son submits and becomes obedient unto death, and in the shadow, Isaac lays down on the altar and becomes obedient unto death, knowing that he is providing himself a sacrifice. Wait a minute. Himself? There I go back to, I swear by my... Okay, that my Word, so I'm looking for clues. We're looking for clues tonight. Type on the line, "I'm looking for clues". I'm looking for clues because, I don't wanna bring my lights up. I don't wanna be an ignorant worshiper. Have you ever seen these people worship, but they didn't have a clue? See, you can worship how you want to, but if you don't have a clue who you're worshiping, you're just making noise. Bring my lights back up. If you don't have a clue, and so, when we start investigating the shadows, we are looking for clues.
They have inherited their father and mother's sin nature. So Cain, acting like his daddy, starts tilling the ground to raise what God took off his father. You remember when Adam sinned, he covered himself with leaves, and the Bible said he hid amongst the trees. And here comes Cain working in the same ground, producing the same stuff, trying to offer to God what God has just pulled off his daddy, and now he's got an attitude because Abel is offering to God what God went out and got to redeem his father, which is a blood sacrifice. Abel offers up a blood sacrifice to God, and Cain offers up a cursed sacrifice to God, and Cain is jealous because Abel is blessed. Sets the tone for the rest of humanity.
If you want to be hated, be blessed. Let's back up a minute. So the Lord is trying to talk to Cain. He's working with this fallen family, this dysfunctional family. He said, "What you're mad about? Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you", this scripture has always got me, "if you do what is right, will you not be accepted"? I can't go past that. I never can go past that because it is here that I learned, for the first time, that God is not a respecter of persons, but God is a respecter of principles. You are not disfavored because you're John Wilson. You're disfavored because you break principles.
If thou do what is right, if you do what is right... it's hard for me to read it in the NIV 'cause I learned it in KJV. If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? God is, first of all, look at how loving God is that God is counseling this deadbeat. God is so careful that he has looked on Cain's countenance. Look at the loving God who's running the universe, who is watching your facial expressions. "Why is your countenance fallen? You look sad". Look at how far God comes down to reach him. "You look sad. If thou doest what is right, will you not be accepted"? That sentence alone promises Cain redemption.
If you learn from who you hate... to all the haters that are streaming online tonight, I have an announcement. It is easier to learn from people in favor than it is to hate them because the hate will always backfire. You should be a student of the person rather than an antagonist of the person, because if you do what they did, you can get what they got. If you do what they did, the reason that I cannot win in the PGA Tournament is that I didn't do what Tiger did. If I did what Tiger did, I could perform like Tiger does, but I didn't start swinging a club when I was eight years old. I didn't grow up in that environment, and it's too late for me to start now.
So there's no need to me being a hater because we both got two arms and two legs and eyes and feet and a nervous system and a cardiovascular system. We came here with the same equipment. Why are you jealous? I'll tell you why you're jealous. You're jealous because you don't want to put the work in. He says, "But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. It desires to have you, but you must rule over it". God is pleading with him to get himself together. Now, Cain said to his brother, Abel, "Let's go out to the field". Wait a minute. This is an invitation because Abel is a shepherd and Cain is a tiller of the ground. He says, "Come on over into my territory so I can get you".
So, Satan, who falls from heaven, doesn't come for Jesus in heaven. He falls to earth and says, "Come on over into the field". And here comes Jesus over into the field just like Abel comes over into the field, and while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him. I'm looking for clues. I'm looking for clues because this theme is gonna run all through the Bible. It is concealed in the Old Testament. It is revealed in the New Testament. "We are at the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light and the burdens of my heart rolled away. It was there, by faith, I received my sight, and now I am happy all the day".
It doesn't look like the cross, but it is concealed. This is where the murder takes place. The innocent Abel dies because of the malice of men, and then the Lord said to Cain, "Yo", this is my version, "yo, where your bro"? He lies, says, "I don't know. Am I my brother's keeper"? Okay, the Lord said, "What have you done"? Have you ever told your kids, "What have you done? What was you thinking"? God says, "What have you done? Listen, shh, shh, shh, listen, listen, your brother's blood crieth out to me from the ground". Hold it right there. The blood speaks. God says, "I can hear your brother's blood crying to me out of the ground".
God can hear blood. I found a clue. That's why I'm saved, 'cause God can hear blood. The death angel passes over in the next book and says, "When I see the blood, I will pass over you". God says the blood has language. "It intercedes to me". You kill the body, but the blood is still talking. Oh, this is mind-boggling, because this sets the tone for the gospel. For later, Paul will say in Romans if the princes of this world would have known what they were doing, they would have never crucified the Lord, because when they crucified the Lord, the blood yet speaketh. Are y'all with me tonight?
This is Bible class. This isn't Sunday morning. It's not revival. This is Bible class. And all of a sudden, God has set the tone for redemption, and we are studying the shadow because we are back in the shadows. We are now in the light, but we are studying the shadow, and in the shadow, the blood is talking, from that first drop all the way through the Bible to the lambs that were slain on the night of the Passover, to the lambs that were offered up in the Tabernacle, to the sacrifices that were killed in the temple, to Jesus being circumcised when he was eight days old, to him sweating in Gethsemane till blood came through his goat, sweat glands, to him hanging from a tree with a sword in his side, all the way to Revelations, "Worthy is the lamb that was slain from the foundations of the world".
When Rahab dropped that red cord out that window, that cord run all the way through the Bible. This is a bloody book. This is a murder mystery. This is a "Who Done It"? story. This is a case of following the bloody trail all the way up the path to redemption, and it starts in the first chapter, and it starts with the first family, and it starts with the first kill, and we're collecting clues that God respects blood. Okay, now Hebrew 11:4, "By faith, Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did". By faith, he did it by faith. By faith, oh gosh, he did it by faith. Lord, Lord, he did it by faith. He did it by faith. He offered up blood, but he did it by faith. By faith, he was commended as righteous when God spoke well of his offerings, and by faith Abel still speaks even though he is dead.
They killed his body, and his blood kept running his mouth. And Friday night, they killed Jesus's body, but the blood kept running his mouth. Do you hear what I'm saying to you? Satan, the blood is against you. The blood is against you. I don't have to fight you. The blood is against you. The blood crieth up out of the ground. The reason you survived all you've been through is because the blood yet speaks. Oh my god, can you see it? Can you see it? It's all in the shadow. It's all in the shadow. It's all in the shadow. It starts out being Abel. It ends up being Jesus. Can you see it? If the blood of Abel yet spake, how much more does the blood of Jesus?