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The Gospel is light, unbelief is darkness

September 30, 2013

The Psalmist said, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” [Psa. 119:105] And, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” [Psa. 119:130] John said, “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” [John 1:5] He identified Jesus with the Word, and the light of the world, ” … the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” [John 1:9]

The gospel Jesus brought was “a great light.”

Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. [Matt. 4:12-17]

The Gospel enlightens those who “sat in the region and shadow of death,” that is, all who are mortal. The gospel is about obtaining immotality, through faith in Christ.

Paul taught:

Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: [2 Tim. 1:8-11]

Jesus foretold a time of spiritual darkness that would fall upon the world, which he called “night.” He said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. [John 9:4]

Peter foretold false teachers among the saints who would bring in heresies, and bring an evil reputation upon the way of truth. He wrote:

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. [2 Peter 2:1-3]

The day of the Lord is a “cloudy day,” a day of “darkness,” and “gloominess,” and clouds, the prophet Joel said.

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: [Joel 2:1-2]

At Pentecost, Peter quoted from the prophecy of Joel, about God’s Spirit being poured out on all flesh, and the sun turning into darkness, and the moon to blood.

But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: and I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. [Acts 2:16-21]

The prophet Ezekiel said that in “a cloudy and dark day,” God will search for his sheep who are scattered.

As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. [Ezek. 34:12]

The prophet Amos described the day of the Lord as a time of darkness. He wrote, “Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light.” [Amos 5:18]

Peter said that prophecy is a light shining in a dark place.

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. [2 Peter 1:19]

Because of false teachers, and because prophecy is misinterpreted, there is much confusion in the Church. In Zechariah 14, the day of the Lord is described as neither light nor dark, but at evening, it becomes light. “Neither light nor dark” depicts a mix of truth and error, but a more perfect understanding of the gospel and of prophecy will be brought in at the end of the age.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: but it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. [Zech. 14:6-7]

Paul said the saints have been translated from darkness into Christ’s kingdom of light, “… giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” [Col. 1:12-14]

Paul said he was appointed to be a light to the Gentiles. “For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.” [Acts 13:47] “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” [2 Cor. 4:5-6]

Paul identified believers as “children of light,” and of the day. He wrote: “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” [1 Thess. 5:5]

Paul said he taught the same things that Moses and the prophets had foretold.

“Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.” [Acts 26:22]

The sun clothes the woman in heaven in Rev. 12:1, who represents the church. The sun represents the gospel.

Darkening of the sun depicts the gospel being obscured by false teaching. Early in the church age, the gospel was darkened by superstition, and Greek philosophy. The false doctrine of the unending infernal torment of unbelievers, which is the doctrine propagated by the locusts from the pit, figuratively darkens the sun. [Rev. 9:1-3]

The prophet Joel wrote, “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.” [Joel 2:31-32]

The sun (i.e, the gospel) was turned to darkness, by false teachings.

The sun turns black as sackcloth, at the opening of the 6th seal. John wrote:

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? [Rev. 6:12-17]

Men hiding in the dens and rocks of the mountains depicts those who claim the promises of God, and salvation, by virtue of being nominal Christians. They do not come to Christ. The mountains represent promises of the gospel. Hiding in dens and caves of the mountains metaphorically applies to those who cling to formulas, proof-texts, creeds, membership in denominations, sects, and cults, etc.

Jesus said to his disciples, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” [Matt. 5:14] He said those who are of God come to the light. “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” [John 3:20-21]

Jesus said he is the light of the world. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” [John 8:12]

In Revelation 1, Jesus stands in the midst of seven golden candlesticks, which are symbolic of the seven churches. [Rev. 1:20]

The Church is a light for the Gentiles. Isaiah wrote:

Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. [Isa. 60:1-3]

Isaiah said of the Church: “I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles.” [Isa. 42:6]