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The Three Signs

Most Christians know that our spiritual opposition comes from three sources: the world, the flesh, and the devil. However, as in most things, we have them in the opposite order from scripture. The world refers to the evil world system. But the world would not be evil except it be filled with fallen men. Men are fallen because their fleshly nature is perverted. Yet, the fall began with the temptation of Eve in the Garden of Eden and it was the work of the devil. So, the devil rebelled against God and brought about the fall of man which resulted in the sinful flesh that is in all men. Then, fallen men with the help of the evil spirits of the devil created the evil world system. The true order is the devil, the flesh, and the world.

For man to be saved and truly redeemed, all three of these enemies has to be conquered. This is pictured in the three signs given to Moses for the purpose of convincing the Israelites that God had sent him to bring them out of the bondage of Egypt (Exodus 4:1-9). Genesis records the creation and fall of man. The second book of the Bible, Exodus, pictures God's redemption from sin. When Moses complained that the Israelites would not believe that he was sent from God to redeem them, God gave him three signs. They were the proofs that God would indeed redeem them. They also teach us of God's redemption for us.

In the first sign (Exodus 4:1-5), Moses cast his rod on the ground. It became a serpent and Moses was told to take it by the tail. Since the serpent is a type of the devil, this is a type of victory over the devil. In the second sign (Exodus 4:6-7), Moses' hand became leprous and then was made clean again. Leprosy is a type of the defilement of the flesh. His cleansing was a type of God's victory over the flesh. For the third sign (Exodus 4:8-9), Moses was to take water of the Nile River and pour it on dry land whereby it would become blood. The dry land is a type of the world, the water a type of the incarnate Christ, and the pouring out of the water that became blood a type of the shed blood of Christ for "the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:2). This sign pictures God's victory over the world.

Jesus promised, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). This promise is not only to redeem those who are lost; He promised to save "that" which was lost. This goes back to the fall of man and the consequences of that fall. Everything that was lost in the first Adam will be restored in the last Adam. In order to fulfill this promise, Christ must conquer the devil, the flesh, and the world. Although He does all of this in His death on the cross, we also see it in prophecy. The devil, though conquered on the cross, will be chained and then cast into the lake of fire. The fleshly nature will not be found in the glorified bodies of the saints. Finally, God will create a new world and this present evil world will be forever cast aside. The Lord has truly given us the victory in Jesus Christ.

One final note: Exodus 4:9, the verse that tells of the third sign of the water becoming blood when poured on dry land, is by count the 1,611th verse in the Bible. 1611 is a special number to those who love the King James Bible. This verse has 54 words. There were 54 men who were initially appointed to work on the King James Bible. If you take the digits of these numbers and add them together (1+6+1+1; 5+4), they add up to nine. This is the number of fruitfulness in the Bible (for instance, the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23). Our reference is also in the ninth verse of the chapter (Exodus 4:9). These things may just be trivia to some, but it is sure interesting how it all fits together.