The Spirit of God is the most powerful “Being, Force, Energy, and Source” of life in the universe. The Spirit of God made man with an “autonomous spirit” that can cooperate with the Spirit of God in managing and in redeeming the world from the evil forces, which invaded God’s creation. Satan, the archenemy of God and man, incarnates animals and man to disrupt “God’s Good Will” and the “recreation process” on earth. Pharaoh of Egypt was such a person. Pharaoh defied the existence and the power of the Most High God. And Pharaoh also hindered the redemption and the formation of Israel into a nation obedient to Yahweh Elohim, and the “LORD GOD OVER ALL.” Pharaoh was a false-self-made god. Pharaoh prided himself that he was a descendant of the sun-god.
The Egyptians, particularly the kings and the priests, believed that the gods were the source and the creators of the world. They, themselves, were the children and the offsprings of the gods. To mention some gods: Re was the sun god, Thoth was the moon and wisdom god, Amon was the hidden god, that would emerge a Aton a sole god or one supreme and all powerful god, incarnated in one of the kings. At the time, Aton one of a sole god, in a bloody revolution, subdued all the lesser kings and forged them all into one long lasting and the most powerful kingdom on earth. And it was one of these earthly gods, who no longer remembered Joseph, to whom God Almighty sent Moses and Aaron to face Pharaoh. The word Pharaoh means “the Great House,” which housed the royal gods and the kings, the children of Aton. The conflict which ensued, was not just between, and an Egyptian king, but the conflict was between the forces of good and evil. The spirit that was in Pharaoh was, in the way, of what the Germans called: “Heilsgeschichte.” And which in English means, “Redemption History.” God’s purpose was to prepare the way for His Son to enter history. And God’s Son would set man free from the dominion of the evil spirits. Israel was to be the path through whom the Savior of man was to enter the world. However, if Pharaoh was allowed to reduce, exploit, and destroy Israel, the salvation of God’s Image and God’s Likeness — then man would have been tarnished and exiled for ever from God. That was the reason that God turned Moses into a god to Pharaoh. And that was the reason that God defeated Pharaoh. And therefore, God forced Pharaoh to, “let his people go.” In a similar way, Jesus the Christ refused Satan’s offer of all the kingdoms and all the riches of the world. Jesus came to cast out the demons, that were plaguing God’s people. And therefore, Jesus empowered the people with His Spirit to become “sons and daughters of God,” so that they too can resist the devil and the devil has to flee (James 4:7).
MOSES’ MISSION WAS TO REVEAL PHARAOH’S TRUE NATURE AND TO STOP PHARAOH FROM HINDERING ISRAEL’S REDEMPTION
Pharaoh was used to show which god it was that inflicts man with hardships, suffering, and even death. To disobey Pharaoh was the same as disobeying the real God; and therefore, it was the real God who was punishing his people. That was precisely what the Israelites accused Moses and Aaron of increasing their hardships. The Hebrews persistently believed that God did both: used good spirits and also used bad spirits. That type of thinking was present in Paul when he counseled his followers to regard all governments as agents of God, good or bad. These authorities were the ones that crucified the Son of God. The Romans did not function the way Paul presumed; and therefore, they took his life. Paul wrote:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of him who is in authority? Then do what is good and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrong-doer. Therefore one must be subject, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For the same reason you also do this very thing. Pay all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due (Romans 13:1-7).
Jesus did not endorse this concept! Jesus called them who they were! Jesus said who made the people sick, who held the people prisoners (Luke 13:16), who put two thousand demons in one human brain (Mark 5:6-12), who causes chaos in the world, and who persecutes the followers of Christ and the Jews (Revelation 12)?
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not continue in the house forever; the son continues forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father.”
They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children you would do what Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me; a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God; this is not what Abraham did. You do what your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is not truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But, because I tell your truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? He who is of God bears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God” (John 8:34-47).
GOD DOES NOT CAUSE LAMENTATIONS AND MYSTERIES IN THE WORLD — MEN, LIKE PHARAOH, DO
Please note: that before Jesus came into the world, people believed that the gods played with human lives as they pleased. These gods handed out good and evil, and at the same time, the gods blessed and cursed man. They also believed that Yahweh punished disobedience, transgressions, and that Yahweh authorized certain man like Moses, Samuel, Elisha, and many others to kill, if necessary. The sword did not bring about peaceful resolutions; the sword brought more tragic reciprocations. For that reason, Jesus proclaimed the “Word” as the answer and not the sword. By the “Word” Jesus had in mind Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms (Luke 24:44). God, to Jesus, was a Good Father! In fact, the only one, who was and who is good is God (Mark 10:18). God was and God is a Father, like no other (Matthew 7:9-12). Everything that is good, in life, comes down from heaven (James 1:16-18). Life, itself, is a gift from God! And evil does not have the power to terminate life, beyond the grave (Matthew 10:28). God sent His Son to teach man that life, itself, is eternal. Life is the “breath” or “spirit” of God that, like God, cannot die. Life is from God! And life must prepare itself to face God in the hereafter. With the help of Christ Jesus, man can get back where he came from:
He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth belongs to the earth, and of the earth he speaks; he who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony; he who receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for it is not by measure that he gives the Spirit; the Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand. He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God rests upon him (John 3:31-36).
Jesus said to them (Jews), “Truly, truly, I say to you the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing; and greater works than these will he show him, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgement, but has passed from death to life (John 5:19-24).
So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not heed them. I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:7-10).
PHARAOH STOOD IN THE WAY OF GOD’S PREDETERMINED PLAN OF ISRAEL’S ROLE IN REDEEMING MAN
Joseph had an agreement with Pharaoh that the Jews could stay in Egypt until they were ready to return to the land God had set aside for them (Genesis 47:11-12; 50:22-26). The Pharaoh’s broke that promise and Moses was chosen to hold the Pharaohs accountable at a heavy price (Exodus 1:8-10; 3:19-22). Pharaoh’s magicians matched nine plagues, but they could not resurrect their dead. The first meeting of Moses, Aaron, and Pharaoh’s court did not go well: None of the Hebrews were plagued or died:
Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’” But Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should heed his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover I will not let Israel go.” Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us; let us go, we pray, a three days’ journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the LORD our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.” But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get to your burdens.” And Pharaoh said, “Behold, the people of the land are now many and you make them rest from their burdens!” The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen, “You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as heretofore; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But the number of bricks which they made heretofore you shall lay upon them, you shall by no means lessen it; for they are idle; therefore they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’ Let heavier work be laid upon the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words” (Exodus 5:1-9).
PHARAOH REQUIRED SOME AWAKENING REGARDING WHO HE REALLY WAS BEFORE HE WOULD LET ISRAEL GO
Who was Pharaoh and what spirit had taken possession of his spirit? What lesson can Pharaoh teach us in the twenty-first century? Would Pharaoh, like the rich man in hell, sent some offspring back into the world to warn them of the self-deception he had enjoyed? For, Pharaoh definitely did not know who he was and what he was doing (Luke 16:19-31; 23:34). Man, who at will, seduce and compel others to follow their will and their whim, are being deceived by the deceiver and they do not even know what consequences they create and what they will face (Revelation 12:9). Jesus and Paul issued these warnings for us because the evil spirit is very potent in our midst:
Then if any one says to you, ‘Lo, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There He is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Lo, I have told you beforehand. So if they say to you, ‘Lo, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; if they say, ‘Lo, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man. Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together (Matthew 24:23-28).
Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you this? And you know what is restraining him now (God’s Spirit) so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by his appearing and his coming. The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will e with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness (II Thessalonians 2:5-12).
EVIL, IN ORDER TO LIVE, FEEDS ON WHAT IS GOOD
Pharaoh had to experience what evil would do to him and to his people. Like cancer, evil is resilient, and evil feeds on the good cells, which are left unprotected. Adam and Eve were off guard when they were tricked into disobeying God (Genesis 3:1-7). And so was Peter, Jesus’ head-disciple, who tried to stop Christ from saving man from sin (Matthew 16:21-23). Satan cannot function without destroying what is good and healthy. Satan is subtle and parades as a “messenger of light,” so that he can blame Christ and God for doing good (casting out demons), by being in liege with Beelzebub (II Corinthians 11:13-15). That is how Satan, the father of lies, makes his living (John 8:42-47; Matthew 12:22-32; Luke 11:14-23; Mark 3:20-30). We are quoting Mark for our/your convenience:
Then he (Jesus) went home; and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for the said, “He is beside himself.” And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Be-elzebul, and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” And he called them to him, and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man; then indeed he may plunder his house.
“Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit” (Mark 3:19b-30).
Pharaoh, like a leech, preyed on the Hebrews. He responded to God’s petition with increasing the burden on the Jews and made their lives unbearable. The Hebrews complained to Moses and Moses complained to God:
Then Moses turned again to the LORD and said, “O LORD, why hast thou done evil to this people? Why didst thou ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in the thy name, he has done evil to this people, and hast not delivered thy people at all.” But the LORD said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, yea, with a seong hand he will drive the out of his land.”
And God said to Moses, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them. I also establish my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they dwelt as sojourners. Moreover I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel and I have remembered by covenant. Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment, and I will take you for my people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; I will give it to you for a possession. I am the LORD.’” Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel; but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and their cruel bondage.
And the LORD said to Moses, “Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the people of Israel go out of his land” (Exodus 5:22-6:11).