Beware the Father of the Furtive

April 17, 2015 at 1:19 pm | Posted in The Fives | 4 Comments
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Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

I Thessalonians 5:5

In one sense, to say that Christians are “children of light” and “children of the day,” is a figure of speech. In obedience to Christ, we are to walk in the light of His truth, as He is in the light, and our righteous activities ought to be done honestly and without guile. We should also be awake and alert (I Thessalonians 5:6), on the lookout for opportunities to serve with care and compassion in a dark and deceived world, and on the lookout for the return of our Master, to Whom we will give an account.

But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

I Thessalonians 5:4

In another sense, though, we may understand that we really are children “of” the light and the day, as opposed to the children “of” the night and the darkness. We belong to the holy God, who is the Father of Lights, not to Satan, whose nickname is “The Prince of Darkness.”

Satan likes the cover of darkness. He has a way of convincing people that those things done in the absence of light are done in secret, though the Bible tells us plainly they are really not. He likes subtility, craftiness, and sleight of hand. Those of us who are in Christ do not belong to this shadowy manipulator any longer, but we need to frequent areas that are brightly lit with spiritual light, and on those occasions when we must venture into his realm to rescue a soul in the power of the Holy Spirit, we should go in with our Gospel lights blazing.

When “closing time” at the nightclub suddenly arrives, those patrons who are behaving drunkenly and lecherously are jerked into a state of shame and revulsion as the lights come on.

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A similar effect may be observed when a Spirit-filled Christian shows up in the midst of the life of a non-Christian reveling in sin. This “moment of clarity” may only last for an instant, but, when it happens to one of your friends, co-workers, acquaintances, or family members, you, as a child of the Light of the World Himself, will want to be prepared to “work while it is day.”

Post Tenebras Lux

January 5, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Posted in Biblical Light | 8 Comments
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The Latin expression for “after darkness, light” became one of the chief mottoes of the Protestant Reformation. The Magisterial Reformers recognized the contrast and the battle between the ever-encroaching darkness of evil in this world and the bright and shining Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is one of the ironies of history that the so-called Aufklarung (German for “Age of Enlightenment”) substituted human reason for Divine revelation as the great hope of mankind. Such a substitution ultimately brought about more darkness than light.

The Bible patriarch Job grew tired of the explanations and platitudes of his friends, as they tried to tell him that increasing darkness was merely as sign that the sun was about to rise:

They change the night into day: the light is short because of darkness. If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness.

Job 17:12-13

Thankfully, God has illuminated the darkness of this world with the revelation of Himself in His Word and in His Son, Jesus. He is the Father of lights and there is no “dark side” in Him.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

James 1:17

Here are the links to a series of posts, high”lighting” what the Bible says about God’s light:

This Big Light of Mine
Light Can Be Offensive (*)
Light Shows the Truth
Light Shows the Way
Light Produces Life
Light Gives Safety
Light Wakes You Up
Light Is Attractive
Light Measures Time
Light Is Stronger than Darkness
Beware the Father of the Furtive
Where the Sun Don’t Shine
The Father of Lights (James 1:17)
Life and Light (John 1)
Doubling Down on the Hypocrites (Luke 11:33-34)
Witnesses to the Light (John 8)
From Dark Death to Living Light (John 12:24-46)

* most-read post in series

Light Shows the Truth

June 27, 2011 at 10:12 am | Posted in Biblical Light, John, Selected Psalms | 14 Comments
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O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.

Psalm 43:3

The are many dangers in trying to find our way in the dark. One of these is the probability of deception. It is difficult to be deceived when things are open and visible, but in times of darkness there is a strong possibility that things are not – in reality – what we are led to believe. Perhaps the greatest deception takes place in our own hearts when we choose to walk in darkness rather than in the light of God’s Truth.

But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

John 3:21

Darkness hides the way things really are. A light shined into a dark space will show what is truly inside. Jesus Himself is the Truth, and He always tells us the truth about ourselves. Ask Him to fully illuminate your heart and mind today, so that you will not be deceived.

Light Can Be Offensive

June 15, 2011 at 10:06 am | Posted in Biblical Eyesight, Biblical Light | 13 Comments
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When a person is sound asleep and someone suddenly shines a bright light right into his face, the sleepy person is going to have a tendency to get angry. In a similar way, the Light of the Gospel can be very offensive to a lost person.

My wife is a big fan of bright lights first thing in the morning. If she could have her way, she would spring out of bed and immediately turn on all the brightest lights in the house. That probably speaks well of her spiritual condition, because, as Christians, we should be lovers of light more than darkness. I have to admit that I like to wake up a little more slowly. If I get my way, I’ll get up, take a shower, and get dressed – all in the dark (which probably explains why my tie seldom matches my shirt and I’m wearing mismatched socks).

We live in “dark days,” spiritually speaking. 21st Century America is very similar to the time period described in the Book of Judges. People are mainly doing “what is right in their own eyes” instead of what God has commanded. It seems like the people whose eyes are most adjusted to darkness are some of the the most influential in our society. This does not bode well for our future. When small men cast long shadows, it’s a sure sign that the sun is setting.

Light has a tendency to make things brighter and more clear. We use words like “luminous;” “luster;” “illuminate;” and “illustrate.” When things are clear – when they are seen in their “true light” – we can be prepared and alert. Can you imagine a security guard charged with protecting someone’s life and property, understanding the importance of staying awake, and yet deciding to turn the lights out during his watch?

People who desire to commit acts of shame or evil often seek out areas of darkness. Most nightclubs or barrooms are dark. Most major cities have a “bad side” of town where the streets are dark.

The “color” black (which is really the absence of light) is the color of mourning and sadness.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Genesis 1:2-4

God said the light was good. He didn’t say that about the darkness. And in the very beginning He divided them – He separated them. As Christians, we have the “Light of the World” shining within us. We shouldn’t try to turn this Light down in order to fit in with the world, nor in order to allow the world to keep sleeping, nor out of fear that we might offend the darkness with Light. We need to shine brightly into the darkest parts of the world.

We sing, “Send the light, the blessed Gospel light; Let it shine from shore to shore! Send the light, the blessed Gospel light; Let it shine forevermore!” Many Christians agree that we should send the Light, but few want to help pay the light bill. There is a financial cost, as well as a comfort cost, in sending forth the Light. There is also the cost of ridicule and embarrassment when we shine our Savior’s light.

Light can be very offensive. There’s a right way to be offensive and a wrong way to be offensive. I must remember that the Light does not ultimately come from me. It is the Light of God – hopefully reflected – but only reflected – off me. Satan got in trouble over this issue back when he was still an angel.

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Isaiah 14:12-15

The name “Lucifer” meant “light-bearer” or “bright one.” He was not a light “source,” and neither are we – but we should be mirrors, and light “amplifiers.”

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

John 3:19-20

Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth.

Hosea 6:5

Christ Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament type of sacrificial offerings, but He wasn’t a “burnt offering,” because He produced His Own light.

Biological eyes are dependent on light in order to work properly. Even eyes that work well are useless in the dark. In Scripture lost people are compared to blind people – they are spiritually blind. It is not so much because their “spiritual eyes” don’t work. It is more because they are choosing to remain away from the Light. A lost person hates the true Light. He wants to remain in the dark. But God has given Christians the responsibility – and the awesome privilege – of shining His Light into the dark, and showing lost people the way out of the dark and into the light of His glory.


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