Archive for December 6, 2010


Making decisions in the dark can lead to some regrettable consequences. Back in the days before electricity, a tight-fisted old farmer was taking his hired man to task for carrying a lighted lantern when he went to call on his best girl. “Why,” he exclaimed, “when I went a-courtin’ I never carried one of them things. I always went in the dark.” “Yes,” the hired man said wryly,” and look what you got!”

Have you ever held your Bible in you hand and thought, there is no way I can understand this! There is simply too much in here. How can I even begin to understand it all? I must admit, it seems every week I am thinking exactly that. I keep bringing my thoughts back to this one thought: The Bible is not a history book, it is not an anthropology book, it is not even a religious guidebook. The Bible is the message of God seeking and redeeming men women and children who see His light and respond to His light and walk in His light. That is why so little of the history of the world is not mentioned in the Bible. That is why it is not organized into neat chronological stories. It isn’t about what we can figure out with our little brains. It is all about God and His light. The Bible is written to move us to seek His light.

For you save a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down. For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. Psalms 18:27-28

Of course we can’t understand it all! But does that mean we give up reading it, loving it? I will never completely understand my wife. Does that mean I give up trying?

We seek after the light because we love the light! Do you sincerely want the light of God in your life?

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. Psalms 36:9

This Christmas we are focusing on the “True Light” of Christmas, the birth of our Savior, God in flesh, Jesus Christ. He is the “True Light” of Christmas.

As our world becomes increasingly secular, there will be the danger of relegating Jesus to a display, a manger scene, when in reality HE desires no other recognition than to be Lord of your heart and life. He desires to be your light and life. He does not want to be trotted out every December. He does not want to be honored just on Christmas Eve. Jesus desires to light your life every day of your life. That will take a commitment on your part, a commitment which Satan will do everything in his power to obstruct.

The Scriptural foundation for our study this morning.

  • Jesus declared, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
  • As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. John 9:5
  • …whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness“. John 12:45-46
  • In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4
  • That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Ephesians 1:17-19

John in Chapter one of his Gospel declared that Jesus is the True Light, and His light is the life of men, and darkness will not overcome it. However, that does not mean that the darkness does not try. In fact, a survey of history reveals how the darkness has tried to obliterate the true light.

At the very time, John wrote his gospel there was a falling away from Jesus Christ. People were questioning the deity of Jesus Christ in the flesh. They were saying that He only became God when the Spirit came upon Him at his baptism.

That is why He was inspired to write:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5

After a beautiful gospel that presents Jesus Christ in His deity, John concludes with this assurance:

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:30-31

However, he questions continued and grew more intense. The doubts about the deity of Jesus spread. Many years later John wrote once more, offering his personal assurance:

In I John:

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:1-7

He adds the weight of his own testimony, and bears witness to the life and light of God manifested to the disciples through the Son-Jesus Christ. John declares that the message that Jesus proclaimed to him was that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Our fellowship with God MUST be based on our walk in His light. If we walk in darkness, we have no fellowship with God. But praise God, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin, so that we can walk with God in His light!

That is why John concludes His book with an even greater declaration than that which closed out his gospel. Not only can we have Life in Jesus Christ, but also John declares:

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. … We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. 1 John 5:13-21

  • Are you really desiring to be in God’s purpose;
  • Do you really seek to know what that purpose is, and to be found in it?
  • Everything depends upon whether you have such a concern. Your desire will determine whether you are simply here to increasing your knowledge about spiritual things or whether you are here because of your strong desire to be in God’s purpose, the eternal purpose of God.
  • Are you prepared to commit yourselves to the Lord and to living completely according to His purpose?

From the very beginning God has sought people to fellowship with Him, to walk with Him. However, because God is light, fellowship could only be in the light of His righteousness. For in Him is no darkness at all.

ADAM & EVE

God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening.

However, Adam and Eve loved darkness, and chose to rebel. Their fellowship was lost, their eyes were changed. Now instead of seeing only the light, they saw darkness. Their eyes were blinded by the darkness of sin.

God responds with Abel and the altar. The altar dealt with the darkness of sin and allowed the Light of God into their relationship.

Cain ignored the light and offered that which was cursed. His blindness then led him to murder his brother.

From their experience, we conclude this foundational truth of our relationship with God.

  1. Fellowship with God is only possible through the light
  2. Fellowship is only possible through the removal of the curse of sin.
  3. The removal of the curse requires a sacrifice.

These truth’s are confirmed as we trace the history of the conflict between darkness and God’s Light

From Abel to Noah

From Abel to Noah the darkness becomes more intense and deliberate. The earth – which is the Lord’s – is taken possession of by man for his own ends.

God says, “you like darkness?” How would you like 40 days and 40 nights of rain? Every living creature is destroyed except those saved by the ark.

Emerging from the judgment, Noah builds an altar and offers sacrifice, and in so doing declares, in intent and effect: “The earth” (the renewed earth) “is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof” (Ps. 24:1).

God has fellowship with man again. Light is returned to the world through the altar. Sin was judged by the death of the flood.

However, darkness returns all too soon. Even Noah is an agent when he gets drunk.

Babel

Babel is built by men desperate for a god of their own making, desperate to prevent a future judgment. Babel is cursed by God, and under that curse men are scattered to the four corners of the earth. Then, when, it would appear that the testimony of God has disappeared from the earth, God finds a man willing to obey Him, willing to follow the light.

Abraham

Abraham responds to God’s call. “The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia” or (when he was in darkness) – (Acts 7:2).

The God of glory APPEARED, showed Himself. Abraham had his eyes opened to see the God of glory and all the great redemptive work of God went forward through Abraham on that basis.

Their fellowship was secured when Abraham is willing to sacrifice his own son to Jehovah. The altar is once again in view, and Abraham walks in the light of God, and a new nation of God followers begins.

Israel in Egypt

God remembers his people in bondage in Egypt. In the light of the burning bush, God calls Moses to deliver them and lead them to God’s Promised Land.

God once again sets forth the Altar. In the midnight darkness of Egyptian homes a wail is heard as the angel of death slays all the firstborn males. Yet in the Jewish homes, there is the light of God, for He has seen the blood and passed over them.

His people are redeemed and led across the Red Sea on dry ground.

God leads them with fire. He has fellowship with them in the Tent of Testimony.

The Conquest of Palestine

Next, we have His people led by Joshua who is following the Captain of the Hosts. Their very entrance into the Promised Land must be across the Jordan River, which symbolizes death in both the Old and New Testaments. Once they cross, an altar is made as a monument. It symbolizes the death of the Jews to their flesh and sin and their new life of fellowship with the light of God. Their very first victories reveal that this is to be God’s battle, in God’s strength, under God’s Laws. If they go their own way or rely on their own strength, they will suffer judgment and defeat!

Judges and Kings

From here commences the long and infamous history of Israel’s descent into darkness. What had been intended to be a Kingdom of God and God’s light became a nightmare of the darkness of sin. Repeatedly they departed and deviated from God’s light.

Even though sacrifices were made, the heart of the people was dark and far from God.

God stirred men to bring His people back, men such as Hezekiah and Josiah. However, the heart of the entire nation was never stirred back to the light of God’s word. When the leader died, the apostasy set in and deepened.

First the Northern and then the Southern Kingdoms were captured and led into captivity. The nation was obliterated, the Temple, the Altar were destroyed. The darkness appears to have overcome the light of God.

Yet God reveals His light through Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They are faithful to the light of God; they sacrifice their lives to him on the altar of fire and lions. After Daniels prayer, God moves in a handful of remnant, people who still look to the light of God.

We read about this remnant in Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai and Zechariah. It is a great time of revival and restoration, but the darkness creeps back.

Malachi

There is more apostasy, rebellion, until we get the terrible conditions recorded in Malachi, leading up to the awful announcement:

You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Malachi 3:9

How black and dark things were! Were they ever worse? Yet God is not defeated; the light is not obscured; for, in the midst of the blackness, there is that which represents the most blessed victory:

Then they that feared Jehovah spoke often one to another; and Jehovah observed [it], and heard, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared Jehovah, and that thought upon his name. 17 And they shall be unto me a peculiar treasure, saith Jehovah of hosts, in the day that I prepare; and I will spare them as a man spared his own son that serves him. Malachi 3:16-17

Malachi closes, and for four hundred years, there is darkness and chaos. Surely now the testimony has ceased and faithfulness has disappeared? Surely now the Lord has lost everything? The darkness has conquered the light?

LUKE

Now we take up the book that Luke wrote to his friend Theophilus. Luke brings into our view a certain priest

Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth

“And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. Luke 1:6

We also find Mary, to whom the angel Gabriel said:

“Thou that are endued with grace, the Lord is with thee”. Luke 1:28

There was also Simeon and Anna:

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Luke 2:25-32

And there was one Anna, a prophetess… she… spoke of him to ALL THEM THAT WERE LOOKING for the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:36, 38.

Even in the midst of great darkness, God has always had a faithful remnant who seeks HIS LIGHT! Listen to their Witness:

  • Zechariah:  “because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:78-79
  • Mary: “And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. Luke 1:50
  • Simeon: “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel”.Luke 2:31-32

Throughout history, no matter how deep the darkness, no matter the degree of blindness, there has been a remnant, a peculiar treasure, a group of jewels who have sought the light of God! Even when there has been no written revelation, they have seen that

1. “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5)

2. The Kingdom of God is the rule of Divine light.

In the New Jerusalem, the heaven in which we shall one day dwell, it is recorded:

And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. Revelation 21:23-25

Birth of Jesus – FOCAL POINT OF CONFLICT

The Birth of Jesus was the revelation of God’s Light in human form. However, what made His light so intense, so beautiful, was that the manger they laid Jesus upon represented the altar that God requires for us to walk in His light.

For Jesus was not born to reign as a King, or Serve as a Priest, He was born to die. He was born to deal for once and for all the mighty deathblow to the prince of darkness.

While we sing of Peace and Silent Nights, the birth of Jesus was a focal point of intense conflict. For God has been set against the darkness from the very creation.

God has always attacked the Darkness

Genesis 1 opens with “Darkness upon the face of the deep”. God did not just look at that darkness and call out in a soft voice: ‘Let us have some light.’ I believe that God attacked the darkness by boldly declaring ‘Let there be light!’ Darkness is contrary to my nature.

In 2 Corinthians 4:4, listen to the stern tone of Paul’s voice as he cries out:

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4

This darkness is the work of the devil, and God is adamantly against it.

The Redemptive message of God’s Word is that the Light will overcome the darkness through the altar, through sacrifice, through removal of the curse!

Jesus declared this about Abraham to the Jews:

“Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” John 8:56

The Jews were in darkness, their eyes blind to the truth of Jesus, and took up stones to kill Jesus. They refused the light of God, just as their fathers had before them, and their fathers before that.

Abraham saw the light of Jesus Christ!

Satan does not want our eyes open to see the True Light of Jesus Christ. He wants us to relegate him to a pretty story, a beautiful manger scene. However, God wants us to see the conflict that is raging between the darkness and the True Light.

This conflict is ever at our door, for by nature we love the darkness rather than the light. Look at God’s own people to see how easily they became blind to God!

Where do you stand? Where does your family stand? Are you with the faithful remnant? Are you ever looking to the True Light of God? Are you daily dying on the altar, the altar of death to the flesh, the altar of death to sin?

Are you daily looking to the True Light by looking to His Word, by seeking His light in prayer?

On the other hand, are you so rushed at Christmas time that Satan has stolen the True Light from your life. Are you so busy and stressed that you have no time for the True Light?

The supreme work of Satan is not to get good people to do bad things, not to drag good people into the cesspool of sin, nor does he drag young men and women into moral corruption, nor does he make infidels and atheists. These are only byproducts of Satan’s supreme work! His supreme work is to blind us!

Take away the blindness, open our eyes to the True Light, and all this will be dealt with. Satan wants to keep us in the dark as to the True Light! The True Light is the most fatal thing to the kingdom of Satan. Paul put it simply:

“LEST the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ should shine.”

Satan says:

‘If those people get the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, MY kingdom is gone. The battle is over for me. I am lost.’

Satan will do anything to keep us from having light.

This is why Paul prays in Ephesians that the eyes of our understanding would be enlightened. The darkness is ever around us.

Paul mentioned those who are “darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.” Ephesians 4:18

You may be thinking, ‘Well, we are not in the dark. We are saved people.’

  • That is exactly what the Jews were thinking. What happened to their Temple? What happened to their Holy City?
  • That is exactly what the seven churches were saying, yet every one of their candlesticks is removed today. Today Turkey is covered with the darkness of Satan.

If we want to keep walking in the True Light, we must realize it will only come with sacrifice and conflict. Satan is opposed to the light!

Divine light is POSITIVE.

You cannot have Divine light and be neutral. If God has shined into your heart to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,

Your life is a challenge to the kingdom of Satan, and his attitude to you will be: ‘We will get you out as soon as we can!’

You will find that Satan will stop at nothing to quench that light. You see, Jesus being the True Light of Christmas is not just a pretty story or Bible theory;

It is a menace to the kingdom of Satan.

Are you walking in the True Light of Jesus Christ? Then your very existence disturbs the kingdom of Satan.

Isaiah 60:1-2

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you and his glory will be seen upon you.

We love seeing the Nativity scene. We use it to decorate our homes. We even set them up in our front yard. But understand this. That was no simple manger that nestled the head of baby Jesus. That manger was the altar of sacrifice, the means of our fellowship with the Light of God. It was the means of the defeat of sin and Satan. That manger meant the death of God’s only begotten Son.

1. We must constantly be on guard against the darkness entering our life.

2. Realize that Satan’s number one goal is to bring dullness and/or darkness into your life, so that the Word of God has no effect.

3. Disobedience, disregard, doubt, distraction all work to dull our eyes to the light of God’s Word.

4. The Light of God only enters our life through the altar. We must die to our desires, we must lay aside our pride, we must humble ourselves to God’s sovereign will.

5. We must desire the Light of God’s Word more than Life itself.

6. We must daily seek the Light of God’s Word! We must ask for it! We must set our heart upon it!

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The IT department had been working 12 hour days for four weeks in a row. Two guys were talking about how badly they needed some time off, but until their project was completed,  time off was prohibited.

One of the guys suddenly lifted his head. “I know how to get some time off work” the man whispered.

“How?” asked the second worker.

Instead of answering, the man quickly looked around. No sign of his Boss. He jumped up on his desk, kicked out a couple of ceiling tiles and hoisted himself up. “Look!” he hissed, then swinging his legs over a metal pipe, hung upside down.

Within seconds, the Boss emerged from his office at the far end of the floor. He saw the worker hanging from the ceiling, and asked him what on earth he thought he was doing.

“I’m a light bulb” answered the public servant.

“I think you need some time off,” barked the Boss. “Get out of here – that’s an order – and I don’t want to see you back here for two days! You understand me?”

“Yes sir”, the public servant answered meekly, then jumped down, logged off his computer and left.

The second worker was hot on his heels.

“Where do you think you’re going?” the boss asked.

“Home,” he said lightly. “I can’t work in the dark.”

Christmas time is all about the lights! Most of us take time to drive around and see the pretty lights. Most of us put up a tree decorated with pretty lights. We may even put them up on our house. Some of us leave them up all year.

The next few weeks we will be looking at the Light of Jesus Christ. As such, I was trying to find out if there was such a thing a “pure light”. The more I researched, the more my brain was fried.

First of all, to know what ‘light’ is, you have to study the following:

  • Particle theory
  • Wave Theory
  • Electromagnetic theory
  • Quantum theory
  • Wave–particle duality
  • Quantum electrodynamics

Plus, there is light we can see and there is light we cannot see with the naked eye. Imagine a light which you can not see.

Now if there is any thing such as pure light, it is achieved by a process called: “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. We hear the abbreviation: LASER.

But even with LASERS light is not always pure, and there are different methods of light amplification. This requires  the study of:

  • Continuous wave operation
  • Pulsed operation
  • Q-switching
  • Mode-locking
  • Pulsed pumping

My mind grew numb reading about light, and I never could get a grasp on if there is such a thing as naturally occuring “pure light”.

I did discover something known as “Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helioophthalmic Outburst Syndrome” People with ACHOO syndrome start sneezing when suddenly exposed to bright light, (usually mutliple times) consecutively. The condition affects 18-35% of the human population.(Wikipedia)

I did find out what “true light” is:

John 1:6-9 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

John the Baptist was called to prepare the way for the true light.

What is “true light”?

  • True used here, means real, genuine, not fake, not artificial.

True, conformed to truth (John 4:37; 19:35). In the sense of real, unfeigned, not fictitious (John 17:3, meaning the only true God, not feigned like idols; 1 Thess. 1:9; 1 John 5:20; Rev. 3:7; Sept.: 2 Chr. 15:3; Isa. 65:16). Spoken of what is true in itself, genuine, real, as opposed to that which is false, (pseudés <G5571>)[1]

Now this “true Light” is also called “great light in Isa 9:2:

Isaiah 9:2 “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”

Now if Jesus is the True Light and the Great Light, then that means there is a fake light, or an artificial light, or a light which is lesser in its power and effect. What makes Jesus Christ the True Light? And here the Bible defines what makes True Light, Pure Light, Great Light. Look to the beginning verses of John:

John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Verse 4&5 tells us what makes light true and great-it produces life in mankind, and the darkness does not overcome it.

I. The Character of the True Light

A.THE TRUE LIGHT IS LIFE.

Normal living things need light to grow. With very rare exceptions do things grow in absolute darkness. Most of us know about “photosynthesis.” The word ‘photo’ means ‘light,’ and the word synthesis means ‘to put together.’ Green plants produce food by putting chemicals together with light.

It is light that causes plants to produce food, and the whole life chain of animals and man depends on this process.  Life itself is built on the sunlight.  Without the sunlight, our world would become cold and dark and dead. If a man is forced to live in absolute darkness, eventually he will go blind, because the nerve endings of the optic nerve will die.

Jesus is the True Light that brings True Life to dying man. We are born into darkness, and unless our eyes are opened to the Light of Jesus Christ, we will die spiritually blind and dead.

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, He came to give us life.  When the Holy Spirit shined the light of the Gospel into our hearts, there was a divine photosynthesis that took place, producing life where before there was only death.

The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand. Psalms 119:130

Jesus is the Word and Jesus is the True Light, shining from itself and by itself.

If the Life of the Son of God IS the light that shines in the darkness (which is what verse 4 says) then there are at least four things we can say about this light.

  1. The TRUE light of life has energy and power because the life of the Son has energy and power.
  2. The True light of life has purpose and motion. It is not static like a lamppost or a lighthouse on the shore. It plans and moves. It shines now here now there. It is alive with the life of the Son.
  3. The True light of life grows and expands. That is the way the Life of the Son of God is. His life is a fountain of life (Psalm 36:9). Once the rays start coming out of this light they extend farther and farther and farther.

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. Psalms 36:9

4.  The True Light of life gives birth to children of light.

While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. John 12:36

B.TRUE LIGHT IS NEVER OVERCOME

It is possible for the darkness to overcome the light in our homes. The power can go off, the batteries in our flashlights can go dead, the fuel in our lanterns can be used up. But this can never happen in the spiritual realm. The darkness cannot prevail because Jesus is the true light that “shines in the darkness.” John doesn’t say Jesus is the true light that will shine or that did shine. Rather, he expresses continuing action. He tells us that Jesus has shone, that He is shining, and that He will shine. As the light of the world, Jesus never ceases to shine. Therefore, the darkness has not and does not and will not overcome the light.

  • No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37
  • And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” Revelation 5:5
  • And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer. Revelation 6:2
  • They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” Revelation 17:14

II. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TRUE LIGHT

WHAT DOES THE TRUE LIGHT MEAN TO YOU AND ME?

A.THE TRUE LIGHT APPEARED FOR OUR SALVATION

During the Festival of Lights Jesus declared to the celebrants:

“I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”    John 8:12

“Hanukkah” or “Festival of Lights” is celebrated for eight days commencing on the 25th day of the month of Kislev (November to December). It celebrates the events which took place over 2,300 years ago in the land of Judea, which is now Israel. It begins in the reign of Alexander the Great, who conquered Syria, Egypt, and Palestine, but allowed the lands under his control to continue observing their own religions and retain a certain degree of autonomy.

More than 100 years after Alexander the Great, Antiochus IV rose to power in the region. He began to oppress the Jews severely, placing a Greek priest in the Temple, massacuring Jews, prohibiting the practice of the Jewish religion, and desecrating the Temple by requiring the sacrifice of pigs (a non-kosher animal) on the altar. One of the groups which opposed Antiochus was led by Mattathias (Matitiyahu) the Hasmonean and his son Judah Maccabee (“The Hammer”).

This small band of pious Jews led guerrilla warfare against the Syrian army. Antiochus sent thousands of well-armed troops to crush the rebellion, but the Maccabees succeeded in driving the foreigners from their land. According to historical accounts, Jewish fighters entered Jerusalem in December 164 BC. The Holy Temple, the Jewish religious center, was in shambles, defiled and desecrated by foreign soldiers.

The Maccabees cleansed the Temple and re-dedicated it on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev. When it came time to re-light the Menorah (the multi-branched lampstand), they searched the entire Temple, but only one small jar of oil bearing the pure seal of the High Priest could be found. Miraculously, the small jar of oil burned for eight days, until a new supply of oil could be brought.

From then on, Jews everywhere have observed a holiday for eight days in honor of this historic victory and the miracle of the oil. The observance of Chanukah features the lighting of a special Chanukkah menorah with eight branches (plus a helper candle), adding one new candle each night.

It was during this particular occasion that Jesus Christ pronounced Himself as the “Light of the World.”

The Significance of Jesus Proclamation was that He was our Savior! He is the one who came to save us from the darkness of sin!

Jesus Appeared for our Salvation!

When Zechariah (father of John the Baptist) could finally speak, this is what He said of Jesus:

(Luke 1:78-79)”the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise (Dayspring –  Messiah’s coming would be like coming of dawn, His light driving away darkness of sin,) from on high shall visit us, to shine upon (epiphaino) those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

When the hour of mankind looked darkest, when our world was pitch-black and hopeless, the God of love burst into the darkness of this world in the person of his virgin–born Son, in a definitive moment of divine epiphany. His advent was like the dawning of a bright new day, the beginning of a truly new age.

Zechariah described the birth of Jesus as “epiphaino”- An Appearing.

Appeared (epiphaino from epí = over, upon + phaíno = to shine) literally means to shine upon. It means to bring to light or to show upon.

In the Old Testament:

  • The first use of epiphaino in the Greek translation of the Septuagint (LXX) records that Jacob “built there an altar, and called the name of the place Bethel for there God appeared (epiphaino) to him…” (Ge 35:7)
  • Another use is in the well known Aaronic blessing –The Lord make His face to shine upon (epiphaino) thee, and have mercy upon thee. (Nu 6:25)
  • It is interesting that a frequent prayer in the psalms is for God to make His face shine (epiphaino) upon His servants (see Ps 31:16, 67:1, 80:3, 80:7, 80:19, 119:135)

In the New Testament:

  • For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Titus 2:11
  • But when the kindness of God our Saviour, and his love toward man, appeared, not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that, being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7

The APPEARANCE of Jesus should not have been a surprise.

There were over 300 Old Testament prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. Simeon and Anna were expecting the Messiah and rejoiced when they set their eyes upon Him.

(They) continued to speak of Him (the Messiah) to all those who were (earnestly and expectantly) looking for the redemption of Jerusalem (another beautiful Name for Messiah!) (Lu 2:36-38).

  • Have you ever prayed for God to shine His face upon you?
  • Have you prayed for Him to shine the light of Jesus Christ upon your children and your grandchildren?

Jesus Christ, the True Light, was revealed for you and me.

and which now has been manifested through the appearing (epiphaino) of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 2 Timothy 1:10

Peter adds that Christ “was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared (epiphaino) in these last times for the sake of you” (1 Peter 1:20)

The birth of Jesus was the most significant event in the history of mankind! The True Light now dwelt among man and would now offer True Light to sin darkened souls!

B.THE TRUE LIGHT IS SUPERIOR TO ANY OTHER LIGHT!

  1. NOT A SHADOW. The real light in contrast from the dim and shaded light which was conveyed through the types and shadows of the Old Testament ritual.
  2. NOT FALSE. Satan himself, we read, “is transformed into an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14), but he appears as such only to deceive. But Christ is the true Light in contrast from all the false lights which are in the world.
  3. NOT A REFLECTION: there are lesser lights which are borrowed and reflected, as the moon from the sun, but Christ’s “light” is His own essential and underived glory.
  4. THE SUPREME LIGHT: He is not ordinary or common. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another of the stars; but all other lights pale before Him who is “the light.”

At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 1 John 2:8

Jesus Came as our True Light

Jesus knew His origin and destiny. He declared (John 8:12)  “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

He declared that His witness was enough. He said, “My testimony is true” (alēthēs).

  • It is not false.
  • It is not a lie.
  • It is not a deceptive claim.
  • It is not the claim of an egomaniac setting Himself up as a god.
  • It is not the claim of a man who is out to shatter men’s dreams.
  • It is not the claim of a man who is set on destroying men.

III. WHAT SHOULD BE THE IMPACT OF THE TRUE LIGHT?

A.TAKE HOLD OF LIFE BY FOLLOWING THE TRUE LIGHT:

“for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true)” Ephesians 5:8-9

TRUE LIGHT AND LIFE

  • And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. 1 John 5:20
  • Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. Revelation 19:11

Jesus Christ – The Light of the World.

No matter where you turn in God’s Word, you will find that Christmas is about light!  We love to sing the Christmas carol, “Silent Night, Holy Night.” But this great hymn is not about the night or about darkness.  It’s about the light.  The third stanza says, “Son of God, / love’s pure light / Radiant beams from Thy holy face, / with the dawn of redeeming grace.”

Again, we sing “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” the last stanza inviting us to “Hail the heaven‑born Prince of Peace! / Hail the Son of righteousness! / Light and life to all He brings, / risen with healing in His wings.”

We sing at Christmas because we have something to sing about!  Light has come into the world, and we need never walk in darkness again.

Is there such a thing as pure light? Yes, if it has only one wavelength.

Most light that we see is made up of many different wavelengths.  Sun light is a continuous mixture from the deepest blues to the brightest reds and all colors in between as a prism or a rainbow can show. Pure light produced by a laser can be used for surgery, and for measuring distances with the utmost accuracy. Pure light is used to measure the distance from the earth to the moon within one inch.  This light is bounced back by reflectors left there in the late 1960’s and 1970’s at certain locations on the moon.

So just as pure light can be used in surgery to heal problems, and in astronomy to add accuracy to our measurements, the true light of Jesus Christ shines in the darkness of our sin-sick world, and reveals our shortcomings, and brings healing to our sin-sick souls.

B.IS THE TRUE LIGHT OF JESUS CHRIST LIVING IN YOUR SOUL? DO YOU HAVE LIFE?

“The true light, which enlightens everyone…”

Tom Peterson, a New Jersey banking executive, was renovating an old farmhouse he’d purchased. It was on the township’s historical register, so he asked members of the local historical society to walk through the house with him. “As we passed an old hanging lamp,” Peterson recalls, “one of them said, ‘Be careful with that because you never know what you might have.’ I tucked that away, but the place was falling apart, so preserving a lamp was the least of my concerns.”

Luckily, the lamp wasn’t damaged as Peterson gutted the house. He eventually worked his way up to the lamp and saw a “Stickley Workshop” stamp on top. Some online research convinced Peterson that he’d found an authentic product of the legendary American furniture company. So he sent a photo to Rago Arts, a nearby auction house, which estimated the lamp would bring $20,000 to $30,000. “I thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,'” Peterson says.

As it turns out, the estimate was way off. When the dust settled, the lamp sold for a whopping $310,000 – $10,000 more than he’d paid for the entire house.

Like Peterson, many fail to recognize Jesus as the light, the true light, of the world. What about you? Do you know Who He is?

For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life. Psalms 56:13


[1] The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament.