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Eric Aboadwe    [email]    ( Ghana ) 2016-10-26     Views : 783     Touched : 169

Our LORD God Almighty asked, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil”(Jeremiah 13:23).

This is a rhetorical question. Here, God is talking about our fundamental nature of sin. Just as an Ethiopian cannot change his black skin into a white skin, no human being can change himself from being a sinner to righteous. Therefore God says that how can human beings who were “accustomed to do evil” (born to sin) do good?

This question is similar to the one in Job which says, “Who can bring a clean out of unclean? No one!” (Job 14:4). Jesus also confirmed the fact that human beings are brood of vipers who cannot do good (Matthew 12:34). He said “...No one is good but One, that is God” (Luke 18:18).


Jesus said that no one is good except God. It means that the solution to our fundamental nature of sin is not about a change in behavioral character, but to be born again of the water and the Spirit of Jesus.

An Ethiopian can never change his skin, and a white person cannot change his skin and vice versa. But since God used an Ethiopian skin (black skin) to teach as spiritual truth, we will stick to that. If you have a black skin, please don’t feel humiliated because even if a person skin is white, it is still equally rotten with sin as the black skin. That is why everybody dies whether the skin is black or white. Instead of being ethnocentric, we must rather focus on the spiritual truth which God wants to reveal to us in the Ethiopian passage.

Actually no one can change his/her skin. In real life, there are some people who try to change their skin by using skin-toning creams. They use these chemical creams to bleach their skin in order to look fair in complexion. But because their color is only artificial and not natural, the moment they stop using the toning creams, their skin returns to its natural instinct again. WHY? Because no one can deceive nature.

They will therefore have to use these skin-toning creams all their life which also have negative consequences. Those who have been using skin-toning creams in their lifetime are a witness to the negative repercussions thereof.


Spiritually, there are many Christians who are also using spiritual skin-toning creams such as the prayers of repentance, fasting and prayers, and doing good deeds to bleach their spiritual dark-skin (sinful self). Therefore God has this to say to them, “For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before Me,” says the LORD (Jeremiah 2:22).

Sin is darkness, but righteousness is brighter and whiter than snow. It is actually a good for one to desire a spiritual body which is brighter and whiter than snow. But if human beings attempt to achieve this by themselves, then it is utterly impossible. That’s why God asked “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots?”


If you desire to have a spiritual skin that glitters with a light of life, then you must truly be born again of the water and the Spirit of Jesus. Jesus said that those who follow the Truth “...shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12). The “Light of life” is a life which is not by works of righteousness which we have done, but “through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). It is a life that is attained through the washing of water (Jesus baptism) by the Word (Ephesians 5:26).


Through the Word of God spoken in Jeremiah 13:23, we know that the Ethiopian cannot change his skin. It actually takes THE SUPERNATURAL POWER OF GOD for such a transformation to occur. And in the annals of the history of Biblical events, there is only one place where such a miraculous transformation of the skin occurred. This place is THE JORDAN RIVER.


When the great and honorable Naaman, who was the commander of the King of Syria’s army was infected with leprosy, there was a girl from the land of Israel who served the King’s wife. This girl told Naaman that if he can go and see God’s true servant Elisha in Israel, he would be healed of his leprosy. Naaman then took her advice and went.

So when he came and stood at the door of Elisha’s house with his horses and chariot, Elisha sent a messenger to him saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean” (2 Kings 5:10). But the Bible says that Naaman became furious and went his way because he was expecting that the man of God will come and wave his hand over the place to perform magic to heal him of his leprosy.

Therefore he complained bitterly saying, “Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the water of Israel. Could I not wash in them and be clean? So he turned and went away in rage” (2 Kings 5:12).

The thoughts of many Christians are like commander Naaman. They think they can just be baptized in any river to wash away their sins. But there is no river apart from River Jordan which God planned for the Messiah to be baptized in order to wash away the sins of the world to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:15).

However, Naaman’s servants came to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, “Wash, and be clean?” (2 Kings 5:13). Like this, we can see that the true gospel is very simple. God told Naaman to go and wash in the Jordan River and his flesh will be restored, but he was expecting to do something great.

Many Christians of today are also like that. When God tells them the simple truth to believe in Jesus baptism in the Jordan River and His blood to be spiritual born again, they refuse. They want to be told to do something great such as fasting and prayers, paying tithes, obeying the Law, etc.

But at long last, Naaman heeded the advice of his servants. Therefore the Bible says, “So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean” (2 Kings 5:14).

Many people read the Bible with canal minds without being aware that God speaks about our spiritual salvation by the water and the Spirit through biblical events. In the Bible, number 7 stands for perfection. Therefore Naaman washing himself 7 times in the Jordan means he was perfectly clean from his leprosy disease, and his flesh was completely transformed like a new born child.


Even if we don’t know anything at all, we can notice some things in the 2 Kings 5:14. First of all, number "7" which stands for "perfection" appears in this passage. Secondly we can see words such as a "little child" and "clean" in this passage. Therefore we must know that to be cleansed perfectly from our sins and to be born again and be converted like a little child is hidden in the passage.

Naaman was healed from his physical leprosy by the water of Jordan, and he became born again even as his flesh was restored like that of a little child.

The sayings of our Lord Jesus such as, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God” (John 3:16) and “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as a little children, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of God," (Matthew 18:3) are all connected to the event of the Jordan River where Naaman’s leprosy was healed and whereby his skin was restored to that of a little child.

Just like Naaman, our spiritual leprosy of sin has also spread from our head to toe, even into our soul. Therefore God speaks about the sinful nature of human beings saying, “...the whole head is sick, and whole heart faints. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; They have not been closed or bound up, or soothed with ointment” (Isaiah 1:6).

That’s why in Isaiah 1:18, God told his people that even though their sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow, and though they are like crimson, they shall be as wool. This shows clearly that God was speaking about their condition of sin, and so when we read the Bible, we must do away with canal thoughts, else we cannot understand the Word.

And just like Naaman, Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist in this same Jordan River so that we will be healed from the spiritual leprosy of sin by being born again of His water baptism and Spirit. HALLELUJAH!


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