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By the Breath of His Mouth

By the Breath of His Mouth

by Dr. David Kyle Foster
November 11, 2021

(All Scriptures are from The Complete Jewish Bible - CJB)

Note: The Jews used "Adonai" ("Lord") as a substitute for the holy tetragrammaton, YHWH (with vowels, "Yahweh") in order to avoid saying or writing God's holy name (Exodus 3:14 and John 8:28).

The Creative Power of Breath

Have you ever pondered the meaning of biblical passages that speak of God "breathing" on man and nature? Indeed, how can a spirit breathe (John 4:24)? Scholars refer to this as an anthropomorphism - the attribution of human characteristics or behavior to God. It's a device that aids mankind in understanding the thoughts and actions of a God who is too transcendent to be understood by finite minds.

Without breath, there is no life. This is true not only in the natural world of living creatures, but in the spiritual world as well.

The Bible reveals that God acts in creation by speaking or breathing life or death into certain created things, including man.

In Genesis 1:1,3, it says......

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth...God said, "Let there be light", and there was light.

Psalm 33:6 concurs......

By the word of Adonai the heavens were made, and their whole host by a breath from His mouth.

Here, the psalmist uses "synonymous parallelism" - a form of poetry often found in Jewish texts, especially the Psalms and Proverbs, whereby the first phrase, or key word, is repeated in different but equivalent words in a subsequent phrase:

Job 26:13 speaks of the creative power of the breath of God, which he equates here with the Holy Spirit.......

With His Spirit (breath) He spreads the heavens.....

Similarly, 2 Samuel 22:16 speaks of God in this way.....

The channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were exposed at Adonai's rebuke, at the blast of breath from His nostrils.

Psalm 18:16 repeats the same idea......

The channels of water appeared, the foundations of the world were exposed at Your rebuke, Adonai, at the blast of breath from Your nostrils.

Job 32:8 expands the idea of the creative breath of God to include His actions within man......

It is the spirit within a person, the breath from Shaddai, that gives him understanding.

In Job 33:4, he repeats this idea......

It is the Spirit of God that made me, the breath of Shaddai that gives me life.

Genesis 2:7 uses the same "breathing from His nostrils" notion when it speaks of God's creation of man........

Then Adonai, God, formed a person (Hebrew, adam) from the dust of the ground (Heb. adamah) and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, so that he became a living being.

The Redemptive Power of Breath

In Ezekiel's "dry bones" prophecy (37:4-6) , the same idea is extended to include God's "latter-day" reconstitution of the nation of Israel......

Prophesy over these bones! Say to them, "Dry bones! Hear what Adonai has to say!" Adonai Elohim (Lord God) says, "I will make breath enter you, and you will live.....I will put breath in you."

It is interesting to note that after His resurrection, God the Son (Jesus) breathed on His disciples. It was at that point, I believe, that He transformed them into a new creation - an unmistakable repeat of His action in the Garden of Eden when He first breathed life into Adam. Jesus' action impregnated His disciples with new life and they were "born again, from above". They were redeemed, saved, restored to favor with God and anointed to work in His Kingdom just as Adam & Eve had been before they sinned.

After His resurrection, Jesus said to His disciples: "Just as the Father sent Me, I myself am also sending you. Having said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, 'Receive the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit)!'
(John 20:21-22)

In John 17:2-3, Jesus said that they received "eternal life", which according to Jewish thought is not merely survival after death, but having intimate knowledge of Yahweh (Father, Son & Holy Spirit).

In John 3:3, Jesus declares.....

I tell you that unless a person is born again from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.

In 2 Corinthians 5:17, the Apostle Paul expands on that thought.....

If anyone is united with the Messiah, he is a new creation - the old has passed; look what has come is fresh and new!

Paul develops the idea even further in 1 Corinthians 15:45.....

Adam, the first man, became a living human being, but the last Adam has become a life-giving Spirit. Note, however, that the body from the Spirit did not come first, but the ordinary human one; the one from the Spirit comes afterwards. The first man is from the earth, made of dust; the second man is from heaven. People born of dust are like the man of dust, and people born from heaven are like the man from heaven; and just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, so also we will bear the image of the man from heaven.

I'd call that good news!

The Transforming Power of Breath

The Scriptures tell us in Ephesians 4:15.......

Speaking the truth in love, we will in every respect grow up into Him who is the head, the Messiah.

And in 2 Corinthians 3:18, Paul writes of fellow believers.....

All of us, with faces unveiled, see as in a mirror the glory of the Lord; and we are being changed into His very image, from one degree of glory to the next, by Adonai the Spirit.

And so, the breath of God not only gives life, it restores and transforms the recipient into the very image of God that was lost in the "Garden". We are reunited with our Creator - adopted into His eternal family (Romans 8:15-17).

The idea that God literally transforms the life of one dedicated to Him is also echoed by Edwin Hatch in one of the great hymns of the nineteenth century........

Breathe on me, Breath of God, fill me with life anew, that I may love what Thou dost love, and do what Thou wouldst do

Breathe on me, Breath of God, until my heart is pure, until with Thee I will one will, to do and to endure.

Breathe on me, Breath of God, till I am wholly Thine, until this earthly part of me glows with Thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, Breath of God, so shall I never die, but live with Thee the perfect life of Thine eternity.

In his first letter to the Church, (1 John 3:2), the Apostle John tells us.......

Dear friends, we are God's children now; and it has not yet been made clear what we will become. We do know that when He appears, we will be like Him; because we will see Him as He really is.

We will be like Jesus, progressing from one degree of glory to the next! As it says in that great hymn "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty": "Ponder anew what the Almighty can do!"

The Anointing Power of Breath

Returning to the idea that God creates everything pertaining to life or death simply by the breath of His mouth, we look to revelations that He gave to Apostles Peter and Paul about the anointed power of Scripture - spoken by God and written down by "men moved by the Holy Spirit " (2 Peter 1:21).

All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living; thus anyone who belongs to God may be fully equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Indeed, Jesus Himself is the Word of God (John 1:1, 14)!

A good case can also be made that on that glorious day of Pentecost (circa 33 A.D.) when the wind of the Holy Spirit blew upon those present - God was not only breathing new life into all who would believe, He was also anointing and empowering them for service in His Kingdom, just as when He breathed life into Adam (Genesis 2:7).

The festival of Shavu'ot arrived, and the believers all gathered together in one place. Suddenly there came a sound from the sky like the roar of a violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire, which separated and came to rest on each one of them. They were all filled with the Ruach HaKodesh and began to talk in different languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.
(Acts 2:1-4)

The Judging Power of Breath

When the Lord comes for His Church, the forces of evil, including nonbelieving human beings, will face the wrath of a holy God because they rejected the Lord of Glory, (John 3:18-19; 12:48; Luke 9:26), who is the only provision given for the salvation of mankind. Luke tells us in Acts 4:12......

There is salvation in no one else! For there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by whom we must be saved!
(See also John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5)

The Apostle Paul recorded in 2 Thessalonians 2:8 that God's judgment of the evil one in the last day will be by the breath of His mouth......

[In the last days] the one (antichrist) who embodies separation from Torah will be revealed, the one whom the Lord Yeshua (Jesus) will slay with the breath of His mouth and destroy by the glory of His coming.

Job 4:9 tells us the same thing.....

At a breath from God, they perish; at a blast from His anger, they are consumed.

And in Job 15:30, we read of the fate of those who are wicked....

He will not escape from darkness. The flame will dry up his branches. By a breath from the mouth of God, he will go away.

Similarly, we read in Isaiah 11:4b.....

He will strike the land with a rod from His mouth and slay the wicked with a breath from His lips.

In reference to the "rulers of the earth", Isaiah 40:24 says.....

Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely their stem taken root in the ground, when He blows on them, they dry up, and the whirlwind carries them off like straw.

The obvious conclusion to such revelation is that there is no contest between just the breath of God and all the power of Satan and his minions. The only reason that the evil one holds any power over creation is that man forfeited it to him when he sinned in the Garden of Eden. Ever since that day, Satan has been described as "the prince of the power of the air", the "ruler of this world", and the "god of this world" (Ephesians 2:2; 6:12; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19).

The Restoring Power of Breath

That lost authority can be recaptured, however, through aligning ourselves with the source of all power and authority - Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 28:18)...

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given Me.

In Luke 10:19, we read that Jesus returned mans authority over creation to His followers......

I have given you authority; so you can trample down snakes and scorpions, indeed, all the Enemy's forces; and you will remain completely unharmed.

It is said of Jesus that He is at the highest place with a name that is above all names.....

.....that in honor of the name given Yeshua (Jesus), every knee will bow in heaven, on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will acknowledge that Yeshua the Messiah is Adonai, to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:9-11)

Indeed, it says in Romans 14:11.....

As I live, says Adonai, every knee will bend before Me, and every tongue will publicly acknowledge God.
(See also Isaiah 45:23)

In short, God is so powerful that He only needs to use the breath of His mouth to create, redeem, transform, anoint, judge, and restore all of creation.

So, what is the takeaway from such knowledge of the unexcelled awesomeness of God? In Ephesians 1:15-23, the Apostle Paul says it well......

For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Sing hallelujah to our God with these phrases, penned by Joachim Neander in 1680.....

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation! Oh my soul, praise Him, for He is thy help and salvation.... Praise to the Lord, who o'er all things so wondrously reigneth...... who hath fearfully, wondrously, made thee..... Ponder anew what the Almighty can do, who with His love doth befriend thee.....

Praise to the Lord! Oh, let all that is in me adore Him! All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him!

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