A MAN SENT FROM GOD IS NOT THE TRUE LIGHT
"There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not." (JOH 1:6-10)
We want to center our thoughts on the calling of John the Baptist. We must see that the world was made by the Lord Jesus Christ, but they didnt know Him. The calling was that John the Baptist should come to bear witness of that Light, but with the caution that he was not that Light.
In our day, we find, too often, that men become an authority. These men become an authority because we look up to them; then they become our light. They give their opinions, and as a result of their opinions, the Word of God is made of none effect. This was certainly the case at the time that the Lord Jesus came into the world.
The Scribes and the Pharisees were doctors of the law. They had taken a single commandment, the commandment pertaining to the Sabbath day, and made 635 commandments around one! The Lord Jesus took ten commandments and condensed them into two. MAT 22:36-40 says, "Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
All the law and all the prophets are centered in loving God with your heart, your soul, and your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. When you take the first four commandments, they center in the first commandment of love. The last six commandments center in the second commandment of love.
The Scribes and the Pharisees wanted to be The light. The emphasis that we see with John the Baptist, the messenger of Jesus Christ who was sent as the forerunner of Jesus Christ, is that he was not that Light. He was not to become the object of attention. He was not to be looked at as the Light, but was there to be the witness of the true Light.
In our previous study we considered The Word, which was with God, and which was God, as the light of men. JOH 1:4 says, "In him was life; and the life was the light of men."
A true messenger of the Lord Jesus Christ brings all of the emphasis into the authority of The Word. The Word is the Light of men. It is the duty of every true messenger of Jesus Christ to unfold what the Word says, not to add our own private interpretations, or come up with a philosophy.
Were not sent to teach you that the Lord Jesus Christ loves homosexuals just because thats what we want to hear. The Word of God says in ROM 1:25 that because men worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, He sent a judgment. Therefore, homosexuality is the judgment He sends leaving them over unto themselves to work that which is unseemly.
ROM 1:27 says, "And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." This is teaching us that if we are faithful to the Word, then we must go much deeper than whether or not Jesus loves homosexuals: homosexuality is a curse sent by God. The curse is sent upon those who "worship the creature more than the creator."
John is telling us that he is not the Light. John the Baptist is letting you and I know that he is not an authority. All authority is resting in The Word. All authority is given unto the Lord Jesus Christ. John the Baptist was truly a man sent from God before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
In MAL 4:5-6, we read of the prophecy of the coming of this forerunner of the Lord Jesus, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers " Read that again to find Johns commission.
What was his commission? He was sent to deal with the attitude of the heart and mind. Turn to COL 1:21 to see the condition of the natural mind. "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind " See where the separation takes place between you and God? It is in the state of mind, in your attitude.
What is true repentance but a change of attitude? Now watch what this is saying, "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled." (COL 1:21)
How did He reconcile? He first came with His blood and took away the penalty of sin, made peace, and appeased the wrath of the Father. Then He comes with the gracious work of the Holy Spirit and renews the spirit of your mind, and He removes the enmity.
In order to make place for Jesus Christ and the Gospel of Christ, there must be the removing of this alienation this enmity that is in our mind. This attitude has got to be altered before theres room for the Gospel of Christ.
Mal 4:6 says, "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." Hes coming to send His blessed Son. Hes coming to send the Son of His love to be a propitiation for our sins. His forerunner has a work to do, and that is to change the attitude and to take away that separation that is in our mind by nature.
When Jesus' disciples saw Moses and John the Baptist on the Mount of Transfiguration, what did they ask Jesus? Many people say that on the Mount of Transfiguration, it was the prophet Elijah that appeared with Moses but it was not so, it was John the Baptist.
We see this in MAT 17:10-13. The disciples asked Jesus, "Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?" They didnt understand this because they saw him on the Mount of Transfiguration that was John the Baptist. They saw him, and he had already come. "Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed." (MAT 17:10-12)
Was this the prophet Elijah that he was talking about? Jesus said they "have done unto him whatsoever they listed." It was John the Baptist that was murdered for his testimony as a witness of the true light, not the Prophet Elijah. Then it continues, "Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them." (MAT 17:12b)
The prophet Elijah did not suffer of them. It was John the Baptist who suffered of them. He was beheaded in the prison. He was persecuted by the same generation from whom Lord Jesus Christ suffered persecution. "Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist." (MAT 17:12b-13)
There is no question that it was John the Baptist who appeared, together with Moses, on the Mount of Transfiguration. He was this Elias.
JOH 1:1-3 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." There is a terrific distinction between "with God" and "was God" and an abrupt language change that takes place in this verse.
In verse 6 with reference to John the Baptist, of whom Jesus said, "...Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist." (MAT 11:11a)
He is also, referred to as a man. JOH 1:6, "There was a man sent from God " He was not to be worshipped. He was a man. He was the greatest: "among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: [Yet hes referred to as a man to teach us that ] notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." (MAT 11:11)
The very Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ was first proclaimed by John the Baptist, and the first proclamation of the Gospel under the New Testament was proclaimed by John the Baptist. He was the forerunner. He was sent by God to bring again the hearts of the fathers unto the children to get the attitudes adjusted, but even he was not to be worshipped.
JOH 1:6, "There was a man sent from God " You see the great distinction now: The Light the true Light it speaks of He was with God, and He was God. Those whom the Lord has sent to proclaim His Word are but men. They are not to be worshipped; they are not to have any man fall down at their feet. MAT 11:11, the last part says, "he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."
This, by way of contrast, not only establishes that the One of whom John bore witness was much more than a man, but that we are not to worship any man. This tells us that the One for whom he came to bear witness was indeed God, where all authority lay. But it also teaches us that John the Baptist was merely a man. We must not fall down to worship a mere man, not even the man of whom Jesus said, "...Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist." (MAT 11:11)
It is so dangerous to fall into Satans trap of worshipping and following a man because of his calling. Did you know that it is wrong for a pastor to make an issue of his calling, to the extent that people follow him because of his calling? I want to show you how this comes through with John the Baptist.
John the Baptist did not tell his calling and his conversion in order to be accepted in the ministry. When he was called upon to do so, he refused. Do you know why? Nobody should follow any man because of his calling. Well look at the call, but overlook the fact that hes just a man. We start worshipping the man, and the end result is that the places where hes in error are where we fall headlong into Satans trap.
We have to be as wise as the men of Berea are. ACT 17:11-12 says, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few." We have to be wise enough to sort out the wheat from the chaff. We have to watch that we don't swallow the chaff, because every person who is a human being is subject to error.
This is what people are prone to do. This is what the Scribes and the Pharisees were doing! This is what they were using to condemn John, the fact that he would not give an account of his calling. He was the very forerunner of the Lord Jesus Christ; he had a calling that exceeded the calling of any person that has ever been sent out to proclaim the Gospel. John the Baptist refused to acknowledge and give an account of his calling before men.
Look at verses 25 and 26 for that reason, "And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoes latchet I am not worthy to unloose." (JOH 1:25-26)
He was trying to get their eye off of him, and his calling, and get their eye fixed on the Lord Jesus Christ. In JOH 1:19-20 we read, "And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?" Who did they send, they sent the priests. They didnt just send some person but they sent somebody who was (in their opinion) in a position to sit as judge.
They were going to judge his calling and his conversion, and they were going to condemn his ministry. They sent the " priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ." (JOH 1:19-20)
There was a real problem in those days, and there is a real problem today. That is, the tendency to want to worship the flesh. John the Baptist made it very clear, "I am not the true Light, I am not the Christ."
So then, when John denied that he was the Christ, the Pharisees first reaction was to demand an account of his calling. If youre not the Christ, then why do you do this? By what authority? They came to pass judgment on him.
JOH 1:21 says, "And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No." John the Baptist would not even lay claim to his rightful title. He would not have it that people would worship him because he was the Elias. He denied it; he said, "No."
Verse 22 goes on to say, "Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?" John had no desire for any man to follow him because of his calling. He wanted them to follow the true Light.
I want you to follow, if you study that chapter carefully, how he constantly kept diverting the attention from himself, look to Christ look to the Word look to the Lord Jesus Christ one that comes after me who is preferred before me, whose shoes latchet I am not even worthy to unloose dont be looking at me look at the Lord Jesus Christ.
When the Lord Jesus came, John said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (JOH 1:29b) What was he telling them? They were the very priests who were making the offerings, who were putting the lamb on the altar the sacrifice before God. He was telling them, heres the true sacrifice! "Behold the Lamb of God."
See that in verse 29, "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me." (JOH 1:29-30) Johns constant endeavor was to turn their eyes away from himself unto Christ. Now the question is in verse 22b, "Now what sayest thou of thyself?"
He had no desire to have men follow him because of his calling. I want you to see how important this is. When we make too much of a mans call into the ministry, do you know what were doing? Were asking you to worship that person as the Light instead of Christ.
John said in JOH 1:23, "He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias." This is teaching us that John said, Im only a voice. You may hear the Word of God, you may hear Christ proclaimed, but Im nothing to behold with your eyes nothing to be seen there is nothing in me to look upon. You hear the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord. Make straight the way of the Lord. He wanted the Lord glorified, and not the man.
What we have to watch is: Who is your authority? John was cautioning us of this very thing. He said in JOH 1:23, " I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness." Nothing in me to behold. No authority in me. The only authority is the true Light. Where do we see the true Light?
"He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." (JOH 1:8-9) What is that? The Word. The Word that was made flesh. The Word that was with God, and The Word that was God. The Word is the true Light. When we hold anything ahead of The Word we are committing sacrilege. We are committing idolatry. We are committing blasphemy because were holding something ahead of The Word. It is so important that we understand this principle John is teaching us here that the authority was in the true Light.
John claimed no authority in himself. He wanted all eyes to be fixed upon the True Light. As the ONE unto whom the Father had given all authority. All authority rests in the Word of God. JOH 1:7 says, "The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light " The duty of every man whos sent by God is to bear witness of the Light and the authority of the Word. "The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe." (JOH 1:7)
Scripture certainly does not place any limitation on the atonement! See that in JOH 1:7? "That all men through him might believe." This phrase all men comes from the same Greek word as the term all men in ROM 5:18, "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."
It is that same witness, he came to bear witness, that all men through him might believe. We have no authority to add to the Word of God. PRO 30:5-6 says, "Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." If we add "all men of the elect," we make a lie. Do you know what weve done? Weve made it that then there could be a seeking soul who would have to come into despair. Why? Because he didnt know if he was elect. Scripture says that ALL men through him might believe.
Every person who comes to believe that comes into a holy reverence for the Word of God shall be saved. That it is a Gospel sent to ALL men that believe. There is where the limitation of salvation is found. JOH 3:14-16 says, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Salvation is limited to those who believe.
If we rightly understand the word atonement, which means "reconciliation," where does true reconciliation lay? "Be ye reconciled unto God." (II COR 5:20b) From Gods side reconciliation is in place. From Gods side, Christ has died to reconcile the world unto God by His blood. Reconciliation has only one limitation. Do you know where it lays? "Be ye reconciled with God."
The very calling and commission of John the Baptist reveals the enmity, the unbelief, and the spiritually blind condition of the carnal mind by nature. That is wherein the atonement is needed to remove that enmity. We read in COL 1:21, "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled."
Look with me in REV 21:23, "And the city had no need of the sun, [Why? Because the light of the sun will pale before the light that is shining here in The Word.] neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." The Lamb, the righteousness of Christ, the perfect obedience of Christ, is the glory of God, and it did lighten the world (the new heavens and the new earth). It had no need of the sun. The light of the sun will pale before that Light.
It is only because of our enmity against God, and our spiritually blind condition by nature, that we would need a witness from this voice crying in this wilderness of sin. It is that enmity that is in our heart by nature that has alienated us from God; it is why we need this Light.
JOH 1:5, "And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." It is in our darkened soul that has alienated itself from God by the enmity of our minds, and by our wicked works. That is what has made it dark in our soul. And now "the light shineth in that darkness; and the darkness doesnt comprehend it." The enmity of our heart by nature closes the blinds to that Light.
JOH 1:7 says, "The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe." The Lord uses His means, the Lord uses His servants; He uses them to bring forth the Word. 0He says that John the Baptist "came for a witness."
Think about it: a witness is one who is called to testify, and that testimony is based on actual knowledge. The Lord has not called me to testify according to what I believe. He has not called me to testify to what is my philosophy, or to testify of what I think is true. No such witness is qualified as a witness before anybodys court. The only way that I can be a true witness is to testify of that which I have personal knowledge. A witness cannot testify based upon any speculations, but only upon what he knows to be true.
The history of John the Baptist gives us the best definition of the character and the responsibility of a pastor's office that there is on record. The calling of any God-sent pastor is "to bear witness of the light," which is The Word of God. It is to unfold the Word of God, and to bear witness of The Word.
No pastor may seek a following because of his calling. He is not to testify of himself, nor about himself, but he is to preach Christ. Do you see why it so dangerous that you follow a man because of his calling and conversion? A man may not testify of himself. He must testify of that Light. He is to preach Christ.
1 CO 1:22-24 says, "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness." (1 CO 1:22-23) The Jews require a sign, in other words, "I want to know on what authority do you speak. Who gave you this authority? Who are you?" They want to fix some attention on the man.
Theyre seeking for a sign. However, we came to preach Jesus Christ " crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." (1 CO 1:22-24)
Where do you find witness, or evidence, that the Lord has called me into the ministry? The answer is found in the answers to several questions. Has Christ become the power of God as a result of my preaching? Do I preach Christ crucified? Do I cause men to turn from their sin and to stand upon the Word and to turn unto God? Is that the fruit of my preaching?
The Lord Jesus tells us youll know the false prophets by their fruit. Its very important we understand the true evidence of a true call. "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" (MAT 7:15-16)
Look at MAT 7:21, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Theres the gospel message that has to go forth. They that do, that hear and do, are those who turn from their wicked ways, and the alienation of their minds, which is manifest by wicked works.
There must be repentance; there must be a change of mind and a change of attitude. Is that the fruit of the preaching? If it is, that man was sent by God. We dont look at the man. Were looking at is fruit. Does it turn men to the Word? Does it turn men to following the living God?
Christ, who is The Word, is wherein all power and authority lays. Theres no authority in a man, it all lays in Christ. "Christ [is] the power of God, and the wisdom of God." (1 CO 1:24) Christ - The Word. Thats where all authority lays.
JOH 1:9 says, "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." Every mans conscience is a reflection of that true Light.
As a faithful witness exercises his spiritual calling, the flock over which God has made him overseer will worship God in the Spirit and in Truth. Then the Holy Spirit will own their work and accompany it with His blessed office.
How do I know if a man was sent from God? Does the Holy Spirit accompany his work? Is his work used by the Holy Spirit to turn people from serving sin to serving Christ? Does it lift up the Lord Jesus Christ, that they glorify Him?
We read in JOH 16:14, "He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you." What does the Apostle Paul say? "But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness." (1CO 1:23) When we see that the Holy Spirit accompanies the office of a ministry, then we see Christ is lifted up. "He shall glorify me."
When you and I are sent forth in the Spirit, and if the Holy Spirit has gone forth to accompany the ministry work, then Christ is glorified, "and he shall receive of mine." This means that well receive of His finished work. Then Christ is the One that is exalted.
It is not through preaching what we believe that souls are saved. There are so many denominations in the world today, and theyre all separated by how they interpret the Bible and by what they believe. The end result is they preach church doctrine instead of the Word of God. Christ is not lifted up.
Were not sent to preach what we believe or church doctrine. Thats not how souls are saved. It is by being Christ's witness of "...the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." (JOH 1:9)
When the Word of God is charged upon the conscience, that enmity of the mind is broken, and the wicked works are no longer a stumbling block, we become reconciled with God. Thats when we see that the Spirit accompanies the work and we see that the true Light has enlightened the soul.
In ROM 10:17 we see, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." I want you to see that faith comes by hearing that is the commission that the Lord has given.
Hearing what? What I believe? No. By hearing the Word of God. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." And when we hear the Word of God, it is the Word of God that convicts the conscience. It is the Word of God that breaks the enmity of the mind. It is the Word of God that turns the fathers unto the children and the children unto the fathers. It is the Word of God that brings repentance - there is Power in the Word!
This word faith ("So then faith cometh by hearing "), comes from the Greek word pistis, which means "persuasion." You are persuaded by the Word of God. It isnt by having a church put on all kinds of doings that attract the flesh, and that we come there to get in on all the entertainment thats put on. Thats not what persuades us to break the enmity of our mind that has alienated us from the Lord. No.
The word faith means it is "persuasion." It is "conviction of religious truth." The heart is persuaded, it is convicted of the religious truth of the Word. How? " Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." So this persuasion, this conviction of the religious truth, this reliance upon Christ for salvation, comes by the Word of God. It doesnt come by teaching what I believe, or church doctrine. It doesnt come by what I say about the Word of God.
Many times the Lord uses a person who does not even understand the work of grace, as His instrument to bring grace in the heart of a sinner. My own grandfather, attended a service of the Salvation Army, and the Lord used a passage of Scripture that was read to convert him, not anything the man said about it. It is the Word of God, that the Lord uses to persuade, to convict of the religious truth of the Word, and to give us to understand what it is to rely upon Christ for salvation.
When the Word of God is faithfully preached, then men are persuaded, then there is true conviction of the religious truth of God's just displeasure upon sin. When the Word of God is faithfully preached, then we see the atonement, and we understand the atonement rightly.
Then we understand that the atonement is the twofold atonement: that it is the appeasing of Gods wrath upon sin; but it is also the breaking of the enmity of the mind and the rebellion of the heart, to turn from wicked works to serve the living God. It is reconciliation in our heart as well as from Gods side by the appeasing of His wrath. Then we start to rightly understand the atonement of Christ, and Christ becomes the only hope of our salvation.
Of John the Baptist we read, in JOH 1:8, "He was not that Light..." That is so important that you and I understand that. When a person leaves a service he wants to be blessed with Gods message for him. He might not go home and be so impressed with the way a man could make his voice tremble, or the way a man could say something, or he could say that so nice, or his philosophy impressed me. No.
If he is going to go home with a blessing, theres only one thing that should ever enter his heart as a blessing the Word of God. It is when the Lord takes a portion of His Word, and applies it to his soul, and in that Word of God, he starts to see the Bread of Life.
It isnt any emotional feeling that leaves you with a blessing. I knew a man that could wipe tears anytime he wanted to, and say, now the Spirit was there; as though emotions show the presence of God. This is not true. When the Holy Spirit comes with the Word into the heart, there we have the presence of God.
Even those who believe have no light of themselves by nature. It says, "he was not that Light." You and I are not a light by nature. The Word is the True Light, and if Christ, the Word, dwells in us, He is the only light we have in us which is reflected by our attitude and our walk of life. It is Christ in you reflecting out thats the only light you and I have.
When the Lord Jesus says, "ye are the light of the world," He means by our attitude, our repentant spirit, and by our love for God, we reflect the Lord Jesus Christ. Instead of the enmity that is in our heart by nature, by our good works, by our walk of life, not of rebellion, it is a reflection of the Word of God.
Look with me at COL 3:12-17, "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness " See the attitude, the walk of life, and what it is that reflects to the world. Wherein are we a light unto the world? It is Christ in you. " Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." (COL 3:12-13)
Even as Christ did, so do you. Theres the light that we can reflect; and there is the light which is Christ in you. We are to forgive one another as in verses 13b-16, " even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. [Now notice verse 16] Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."
Wheres the light in you? Its reflected by your attitude. Go back with me again to COL 1:21, "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled." How have you become reconciled? For the answer look again at COL 3:12-13, "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another forgiving one another as Christ forgave you..."
When we are renewed in the spirit of our mind and put on the new man, which is created after righteousness and true holiness, then we become light in Christ. Look at EPH 5:8-10 to see where the light and the darkness are separated. "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord." It is by the fruit of the Spirit that ye will know the true servants of God. " The fruit of the Spirit in all goodness and righteousness and truth " His Word is truth. "Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord."
The ministry of John the Baptist was a ministry of repentance. Notice that the ministry of the New Testament Gospel began in John the Baptist preaching the exact same words that the Lord Jesus preached when He began His ministry. Turn with me to MAT 3:1-2, and then compare that with MAT 4:17, where the Lord Jesus began His ministry. "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (MAT 3:1-2)
Now look at MAT 4:17. How did the Lord Jesus begin His ministry? "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Repent. Change that attitude. Deal with that enmity whereby we are alienated the enmity thats in your mind. Come under that kingdom, kingship. Come into the service of the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you see how John the Baptist shone the Light? He became a witness of that Light.
In our natural state we are darkness, but when Christ is formed in us we become light in the Lord. We are like the moon, a mass of darkness that has absolutely no light in it, but as the work of regeneration is worked in our heart, we become as stars, and stars have light within themselves. You and I become light. When Christ is formed in us, we become light in the Lord. See this in 2 CO 13:5, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" If you do not have the Spirit of Christ in you, you are a reprobate.
So how are we to know if Christ is in us or not? Look at PHI 2:1-4, "If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, [Do you have any consolation in Christ at all?] if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, [that you have that mind of Christ. If you have any fellowship of the Spirit Do you have any fellowship with the Spirit of Christ? If you do, be ye likeminded ] having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."
This is how that alienating enmity of the mind is broken. True repentance brings a complete change of attitude. It is through this mind of Christ, which is in those who are true believers, that our light is made to shine. In JOH 1:9, "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." That mind of Christ, "let this mind be in you;" it is that which reflects from you, that the world sees the true Light in you.
Referring to Christ as the true Light distinguishes Him in at least a threefold sense. There are many lights, but what were referring to is the true Light. "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man ." (JOH 1:9) First, it distinguishes His gospel from Satan's gospel, "the true Light." Do you know why? Satans gospel has his ministers going out as apostles of Jesus Christ as angels of light! Theyre preaching the blood of Christ, and theyre preaching salvation, but theyre not preaching repentance.
I want you to look with me in 2 CO 11:13-14, "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." The true Light is distinguished from this light, which is the gospel of Satan (which is the gospel of those apostles who have transformed themselves into the apostles of Jesus Christ). Notice, it shows us that they shall receive according to their works. What was their problem? There was no repentance.
In verse 15 we read, "Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." (2 CO 11:15) Their works have not altered. There was no repentance, there was not that Spirit of Christ. There was not that breaking of that enmity of the mind by wicked works. Thats where we distinguish the true Light from the gospel of Satan.
Second, Christ was referred to as the true Light, as distinguished from the types and the shadows of the Old Testament, which were as a reflection. Look at the difference of the true Light versus the reflection of that Light. The types and shadows: the burnt offerings and the sacrifices of the Old Testament, were a reflection of the Light, but Christ was the true Light.
In ISA 30:26 we read, "Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days " Thats showing how the moon is a type of that reflection. In REV 21:23 we read, "And the city had no need of the sun " Why? The true Light was there.
Our ministries would draw a complete blank without the Lord formed in us. Christs ministry showed forth from the light within Himself. In JOH 12:46, "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness." Those who remain outside of that light are so blind as to not recognize the very Creator of heaven and earth.
JOH 1:10 says, "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not." The blind Chief Priests who offered the sacrifices, which pointed to Christ's atonement never recognized the very Lamb of God, which came to take away the sins of the world. They were so blinded by their own false teaching and vain expectations that they never understood the prophesies concerning Him.
ISA 53:1-6 says, "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." Amen
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