Spiritual Blindness Part 2 by Pastor Don Moore – Israel photos: Hezekiah’s tunnel, Pool of Siloam

Friday, August 31, 2007

Spiritual Blindness Part 2 by Pastor Don

Here is the part that I promised you. If you want to read Part One, this is the link.

Pastor Don continued by sharing examples in the New Testament about Spiritual Blindness. Remember that Spiritual Blindness can be caused by tradition, emotions, expectations, the flesh, and temper.

When Jesus came to earth, He did not come to throw out the Old Covenant, but He deepened our understanding of the Old Covenant. He reminded people (for Jesus did as His Father did) that God desires Mercy, not sacrifice. He went about reversing Spiritual Blindness. We looked at some examples in the New Testament, so we could see Spiritual Blindness in others, and realize how blindness can keep our faith from being operational.

John 9:1-2 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

This was part of the Spiritual Blindness of the Israelites, that they believed all sickness or deformity was due to a person’s sin. But this man was blind from birth – blind in the womb. What kind of God would cause a person to be blind from birth so that later Jesus could heal the person? That is not the kind of loving God we serve. People are always looking for generational curses to be the cause of troubles. A person’s condition is not always because of a generational curse. We live in a fallen world ruled by satan, who is the one who brings sickness, disease and death. Jesus came to free us. Pastor Don told us we cannot always use the same diagnosis for every situation. We need to look at a person with the eyes of the Spirit to determine the cause of the problem.

John 9:3-4 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.

God would have violated His own covenant if he made everyone sick so that He could look good healing them. This was a person who is blind in the womb. Jesus came to bring light into a dark situation.

John 9:5 (Jesus speaking) “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

John 9:7 (Jesus speaking) And He said to him, “Go wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

Here is the exciting part that I told you about yesterday. The Pool of Siloam is actually two pools, an upper pool and a lower one. The water comes from the Kidron Spring and goes through the valley. When we looked at Hezekiah’s tunnel which went under the city we saw that only the upper pool contained water, the lower one which is outside of the city had no water. Here are a few pictures of Hezekiah’s tunnel, which is  a miracle of construction for it was dug from both ends, and the diggers met in the middle. They were digging through rock, and the odds of meeting were minimal. Hezekiah wanted a way to protect Jerusalem’s water source and deny it to the enemy, so the tunnel was his solution.

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We had to walk down a number of steps to get to the tunnel.

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This tunnel was a huge undertaking.

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Can you imagine digging through stone like this??

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You can see the height of the walls? I am 5’9 inches so that you can get an idea of the height of the walls. The people would be able to go to the Pool of Siloam protected, and get the water that they needed.

The next pictures are dark, but you can trust me, there is water. That white sheet of paper is floating on water in the Pool of Siloam, the same pool the blind man washed his eyes in.

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Here is another angle of the pool. The wall at the far end of this picture connects with a convent. The nuns used to bathe in this water, until some diggers coming from the other end of the tunnel happened upon the nuns. After that the convent built this wall to protect the nuns.

Now that you have an idea of what the pool looks like, we can continue with the Bible study. Pastor Don said that the next time we take a trip to Israel, he is going to make sure we spend more time here and he will teach a Bible study on the Pool.

The water in the Pool of Siloam was sacred to the people, so they used it in their worship. During the Feast of Tabernacles ( Also called the Feast of Booths when people build booths to remember the wandering in the wilderness, living in tents during the time of Moses. The booths have to have spaces in the roof so that the people can see the sky, and the fathers are to tell the children about the wanderings in the wilderness and what God did for His people. The Feast of Booths in prophetic history will be when God comes to tabernacle, abide with His people.) During the time of Jesus it was tradition that the rabbis went to the Pool of Siloam with golden vessels to draw water. They marched in a procession with lots of cheering and singing and praise, bringing the water from the Pool of Siloam and pouring it on the altar.

It is to this sacred pool that Jesus sends the blind man to wash the clay that Jesus put on the blind man’s eyes. The man washed and regained his sight. This was noticed by the people, and the priests and Levites.

John 9:11 He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, “Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.” So I went and washed and I received sight.”

The blind man was a sent one, that Jesus sent to wash in the pool. Because he was Jewish, it made sense that he would wash in the pool within the city walls, not the pool that was without the city walls. Pastor Don said there was a progression made in verse 11: WENT, WASHED, RECEIVED SIGHT.

When the man received sight, questions began to arise. What happened? Who did this? How can this be done? As a result of the Israelites’ Spiritual Blindness, they missed the real miracle. They missed the picture of Christ bringing the Word, washing people in the Word, and removing the Spiritual Blindness of the people. While the blind man received sight in reality, there was also the symbol of the water being the Word. Just as the water was brought by the priests to the altar washed the altar, God sent Jesus to wash the people with the Word.

John 9:18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight.

They came to the wrong conclusion about what happened, focused on the physical, and questioned the parents.

John 9:19-20 And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind.”

Pastor Don told us when we have questions don’t go to people who don’t see.

John 9:22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.

Why would they say this, because of tradition, expectation, emotions and the flesh. They were willing to put up with Spiritual Blindness rather than to be brought into the light of truth. They wanted to exclude the possibility of the Messiah, Christ coming.

Pastor Don said, WE CHOOSE TO REMAIN BLIND.

John 9:25 He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not, I do not know. One thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see”

The blind man realized the important thing, that he could now see.

John 9:26 Then they said to him again, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?”

He tells the truth again, they did not want to hear this.

John 9: 28 Then they reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples.”

They chose to remain Spiritually Blind, but the man who had his eyes opened realized his experience overrode all things that caused his Spiritual Blindness. Your experience should never take a back seat to someone else’s argument, which may be based on Spiritual Blindness. Don’t put reason above faith, for faith is unreasonable.

John 9:30-31 The man answered and said to them, “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes! Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshipper of God and does His will, He hears him.”

This man is preaching already!!!

John 9:32-33 “Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.”

The man who could now see is not being bound by tradition, experience, emotion, or the flesh.

John 9:35-36 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”  He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?”

He was willing to believe, now that his physical and Spiritual Blindness has been removed.

John 9:37 And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.” 

John 9:39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.

John 9: 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.”

These verses answer it all. This is a strong position of faith. If we acknowledge we do not see, God can help our Spiritual Blindness so we can see spiritual things. The Pharisees needed to see, but did not acknowledge their blindness, they were unable to see the progression at the Pool of Siloam.

Under the Old Covenant they drank from the Pool of Siloam, and brought water to the altar in a procession. Jesus comes, at the time of the Feast of Booths, and tabernacles with them.

What is most interesting is there is only water in the upper pool today,  the pool where Jesus had the blind man wash. The sent one was sent under Jesus’ instructions to wash in the water so that He could see. To wash off the clay that Jesus made for his eyes.

The upper pool represents the inner court, and the lower pool the outer court. Jesus broke down the wall of separation. Before that, the gentiles had to get water at the lower pool, but because of Jesus the gentiles are now invited inside.

The Old Covenant causes traditions that lead to Spiritual Blindness. The Priests and Levites were invited to wash in the pool, to learn from Jesus’ words. They had the opportunity to remove their Spiritual Blindness. When the lower pool dried up, it symbolized the Old Covenant traditions that caused the Spiritual Blindness being dried up.

Under the New Covenant we need to drink the water, wash in the water, and have the Water of the Word, cleaning ourselves in the Water. The scribes and Pharisees were out of faith and did not choose to tabernacle with Jesus.

We then looked at another example of Spiritual Blindness.

John 11:1-2 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.

Pastor Don then summarized the passage for us, pointing out that Jesus did not immediately rush to Lazarus’ side, but waited four days to come. Why four days? Because the Jewish people believed that the spirit stayed near the person for three days. By making sure Lazarus was dead four days, the people could believe that Lazarus was really dead, and when Lazarus rose, there would be no doubt that he rose from the dead. Again we are going to find people who are caught in traditions, emotions, expectations and the flesh.

Lazarus was under the Old Covenant, then Jesus came on the scene.

John 11:38-39 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

Jesus had them take away the stone, to roll away the stone that prevented them from seeing. Jesus was coming to roll away the stone of the Old Covenant to reveal the New Covenant.

He, at a different time, had given a parable about not being able to put new wine into old wineskins. This is similar, for the old rock of Spiritual Blindness had to be rolled away, to be able to Spiritually see in. We can’t see spiritually through the flesh, until our sins are rolled away by Jesus.

John 11:40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”

To see the glory of God we have to believe by faith for something beyond our comprehension. Believe in the Spirit, and you will see His glory.

John 11:41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.”

The Jews did not get what Jesus was teaching. They felt that they had to be good, and that was enough. But it wasn’t. They needed faith in the Father to open their eyes and make it possible to see what before they could not comprehend.

A GRATITUDE OF ATTITUDE is needed. Thank God before you see the thing in the flesh.

John 11:43-44 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

The Jews were bound and in tombs. Jesus compared them to white washed tombs.

Matthew 23:27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.

Jesus gave a parable of what he tried to do, when he asked God, instead of cutting down the tree, to let him dig among the roots and see if a shoot grows and the tree shows new life and fruit. That tree was the nation of Israel and for most of that nation at the time of Jesus that did not happen because of Spiritual Blindness.

Lazarus and those under the Old Covenant, were bound, could not see or hear. Pastor Don described how the dead were wrapped in strips of cloth that were 40 feet long, and they were bound by several strips of cloth. Pastor Don speculated that he thinks the length of cloth that bound Lazarus was 600 plus feet – the number of feet equalling the number of the laws that the Priests concocted from the Ten Commandments, but that is speculation. He does want to ask Jesus about that some time in Heaven.

Lazarus had to be loosed and let go. We cannot see what God has for us without God calling us forth. When we are in Christ, Christ removes the bonds that bind us. We are so bound by tradition, bound by the expectations of parents, pastors, people, ourselves, bound by our emotions both how we affect other people and how they affect us. And bound by our flesh and our desires. Christ came to free us.  God wants us loosed. He wants our eyes uncovered so that we are no longer Spiritually Blind.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

People who are spiritual blind do not want to believe

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.

We need to break loose from the Old and become new creations in Christ Jesus. We are not the same as we were 100 years ago, five years ago, or five minutes ago. We do not want to hold Faith hostage to Spiritual Blindness.

A question was brought up about why Pastor Don thought that the Blind man was sent to the upper pool to wash. He replied, that Jesus was sent to fulfill all the Jewish feasts. The priests and Scribes could not see Jesus was the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies, that He was the Christ. He was the sent one from God. So He sent the blind man to the same pool that was used to purify the altar, to show that Jesus was also sent. God used that pool for cleansing, and during the time of tabernacling with God. It is also important to remember that only the upper pool contains water. The upper pool represents the New Covenant, and the New Covenant exists because of Jesus.

Pastor Don pointed out that this pool and the traditions surrounding it were mentioned in non-Biblical sources like Josephus.

The Law was a tutor for us, but the Word of the Lord does not come back void. The Levites, Priests, and Scribes added more and more binding laws and traditions to burden the people. But they lost the Spirit of the law, and caused the people to be Spiritually Blind to God’s mercy and compassion. We all do things that produce Spiritual Blindness, but like David, who repented, God helps to remove the blindness so we can again see.

We need to let God roll the stone away, to let God unbind us from those traditions, expectations, emotions and flesh that keep us bound. We are saved by grace, but not every person will accept this.

Hoping this lesson blesses you. I count myself so blessed to be able to sit under Pastor Don and learn.

Have a wonderful night!

Heather

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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