From Darkness to Light
From Darkness to Light
How do we stay aware of darkness, yet not loose sight of the light? In what ways can we avoid darkness? How can we be lights?
Do you have less energy than usual? Feel less productive or less creative? Do you feel the need for more sleep? Do you feel down or depressed? Have you...do you have less control over your appetite? If you have any or some or most of those, you may be S.A.D. S-A-D . It's called Seasonal Affective Disorder. There are people who are treated for Seasonal Affective Disorder.
It might also be called "the winter blues"...let me read this to you. It's an article from bp Magazine, which is for bipolar individuals, but it's called "the winter blues." It says, "You're Not Imagining Them," by Julie Fast. She says, "Do you dread the winter? I know I do. I live in Portland, Oregon where it can be dark and dreary all day long during the winter. For a long time, people were considered a bit wacky if they insisted that the weather affected their moods."
Then, Norman Rosenthal, M.D., in his 1993 book, Winter Blues, revised and updated in 1998, explained the connection between depression and the darker days of winter. Following the publication of Winter Blues, the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, S.A.D., were taken more seriously.
Today, approved treatments for S.A.D. include medication; therapy and light are often warranted, although S.A.D. is generally a time-limited condition.
We've just come back from the Feast of Tabernacles only a short month ago, even less than that, just about a month ago. We were on a high there and we come back to shorter days, shorter daytime and a lot more nighttime. I looked at a couple of the weather reports and figured out the times. For instance, today you will have only had nine hours and 36 minutes worth of daylight, but last July you had 14 hours and 16 minutes of daylight. So, you're losing about four and one-half to five hours of daylight, which means you're in the dark a lot more than you would like to be.
Now, there's nothing wrong with darkness on a physical level, nothing wrong with darkness on a physical level. However, the symbol of darkness in Scripture, the spiritual darkness we will enter for five months because there will be no holy days, no festival gatherings, no focusing our attention on God's wonderful plan, which includes light for the entire world, so we will have five months, no holy days, no focusing our attention on it, no coming together at extra times other than the Sabbath to rejoice before God.
Darkness, for many, brings fear. When I was a little kid, I used to be afraid of the darkness. I was glad that my Dad was home. When my Dad wasn't home, I wasn't real comfortable, but when he was home I felt better just knowing that he was in the house. Now, I had to tell myself, you know what, everything is in the same place, everything is doing the same that it does in the light, except it's dark, but I couldn't see it doing the things. But, I had to tell myself you know what, everything's the same out here, it'll be the same out here when it's dark or when it's light. See, you don't have to be concerned, but many of us go to movies and we're scared. I've sat in movies as a little kid touching my brother Dave's arm, holding on to him when there would be some scary part of a movie coming up and sitting in the dark and watching this scary movie.
Darkness is a time that generally brings us down. Associated with darkness are the terms: misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, and wickedness. All of those are associated, not with physical darkness, but with spiritual darkness.
We had a power outage not too long ago. Is it fun sitting in the dark? It's not. I'm glad I keep my...right near my easy chair...I've got a big flashlight and, if all the lights go out, I reach for the flashlight; I find the candles, we light some candles so we can see again. But it's no fun, fumbling around in the dark until you get those candles lit.
If you've ever been to Carlsbad Caverns where they take you down below ground and they say to you, "we're going to turn off the lights"...let me read an experience that this person had in a similar cavern.
"Some years ago, my family visited a cave in the state of Kentucky." (Probably Mammoth Cave or one of those.) "The guide led us through many beautiful and winding subterranean passages. Suddenly, he turned off all the lights and said, 'I'm the only one who knows how to get you back to the entrance. If I left you here, you'd probably never find your way out. Anyone lost in this cave would no doubt become insane within a week from the oppressive loneliness. Be quiet for a moment and feel the darkness.' I remember my youngster clutching my arm. After about 30 seconds, someone in the party could endure it no longer and cried out, ' Turn on the lights! I'm going crazy now!' The guide laughed, but we'll soon not forget that frightening experience."
Being in darkness does bring out a certain sense of fear in people. I've been to Carlsbad Caverns and, literally, you try to put your hand up in front of your nose and you couldn't even see it; you could feel, kind of, the darkness, but you could not see it. You could not see your hand there and...so, darkness we will be entering.
The word in the Hebrew for darkness, the one that's generally used, is choshek and it's used about 111 times, actually 80 times out of 111, so that will be the main one in the Hebrew that I'll be covering.
So, darkness has its various symbolisms, which I've already mentioned to you, it's various signs. Let me read a few scriptures to you just to start off with, and take a look at physical darkness, but what I really want to emphasize is that we are becoming, we are going from darkness into the light. And I hope that in this period of darkness, these five months, that we will not let ourselves be dragged down, depressed, discouraged, miserable, sorrowful, sad, because we need to realize we will be going from darkness to the light. Let's take a look.
First of all, back in Genesis 1, God is not against darkness. In fact, darkness forms a part of our 24-hour day.
Genesis 1:2, 4-5
Vs. 2 – "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep." So you had darkness initially. " And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
Then, in verse 4 we read this.
Vs. 4 – "And God saw "...of course He said, ' Let there be light,' first thing God created, by the way, where it says, 'Let there be light,' let's bring some light into this situation. ' Let there be light '... " and God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness."
Vs. 5 – "God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night." So darkness in its physical sense of darkness is merely a part of the 24-hour day. There is nothing wrong with that darkness, the physical darkness that we see out there. " God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day." So there is nothing wrong with darkness.
Let's take a look at Isaiah 45 and verse 7 that parallels darkness and evil.
Vs. 7 – We read that God says this. "I form the light and create darkness." Well, He did, right at the beginning we saw. He creates other darkness too. There will be other darkness created by God before the end. So, God forms the light; He creates darkness. " I make peace, and create evil ...."
Now, a lot of people have a problem with that. How does God create evil? Does God create sin? No, the word here for "evil" has many meanings and is translated that throughout Scripture, a major one being calamity. In fact, I looked up on my computer the various ways this word is used, let me pull it out for you, I thought it was right there but I don't see it right there. Anyway, yes, here it is.
Vs. 7 – The New King James says, "I create calamity." The New Revised Standard Version says, " I create low." The Amplified Version says, " I create physical evil and calamity." Calamity. The New American Standard Update says, " I create darkness causing well-being and calamity." The New American Standard says, "... causing well-being and creating calamity." The New Living Translation says, " I am the One who sends good times and bad times."
So God does, in a sense, send evil but not sin when He punishes people for sins. When He brings calamities upon nations, that's not good times! He does bring bad times, but God does not bring sin to people. God is not the author of bringing sin to them, so a lot of times we translate that Hebrew word, ra, as sin and sometimes it is used for sin, but other times it's used for calamity or difficulties.
Many times darkness is paralleled to evil. Many times darkness is paralleled to difficult times. Take those definitions that we talked about initially: misery. So, you say, these are dark days. Destruction: darkness is set upon this nation. You could talk about death. Darkness covered, you know, this particular individual. Or ignorance. Boy, they're in the dark. Or, you say, sorrow. You know, they're looking dark or despaired or downcast. Wickedness. There's darkness occurring here. So, all of those tend to be the connotation of spiritual darkness.
Now, we need to be aware of the darkness but not lose sight of the light. We need to be aware of the darkness but not lose sight of the light. So, the title of this sermon is, "From Darkness to Light."
Let's take a look at spiritual darkness and then we're going to come on the positive side. Spiritual darkness. Ephesians 6:11-12.
We live in a world of spiritual darkness and there's no doubt that people and demons like to do their dirty work at night. Satan likes to work at night. Most people like to pull their evil deeds off by night.
So, Ephesians 6:11, "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand the wiles of the devil: "The tricks, the manner, the cleverness, the tricks that he tries to perpetrate, the deceits of the devil.
Vs. 12 – "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood." You know, you have a wrestling match, you see your opponent, you can grapple with him and grab him and put a hold on him, try to flip him over, try to reverse when you do wrestling. "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers." What type of powers? Unseen powers. "Against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Others put it: " Wicked spirits in high places."
As we enter into this dark period, spiritually entering into a period where there's darkness that is prevailing physically, or it can also be more concentrated spiritual darkness, we all need to be aware of the darkness that's there, that spiritual darkness.
Proverbs 4:19 shows that darkness is also equal to wickedness.
Proverbs 4:19 – "The way of the wicked is as darkness." So, wickedness and darkness are paralleled here. "The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble." Just like people walking around in the dark can't see where they're going, trip over themselves, stumble and fall. We need to realize that darkness, spiritual darkness, can lead us into wickedness.
Now, Satan the Devil is the one who brings about this spiritual darkness. He's the author of it, Acts 26:17 and 18 , and when our minds are not as focused on the holy days as they are from springtime through fall, when we have one following after the other and after the other, and we have the brightness of summer, once we get through those times, then we have the Feasts of the seventh month, we're very excited about those, we go to the Feast of Tabernacles, we're on a high, but we come back and then, what? It's kind of like we're on a low, if you're not careful if we give in to spiritual darkness, because physical darkness is a fact, but spiritual darkness can also affect us.
Vs. 17 – Breaking into a thought, Paul's defense before Agrippa, verses 17 and 18 of Acts 26, he says: " Delivering you from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you,"
Vs. 18 – "To open," he's repeating what God wanted him to do, "to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God." So, Satan and darkness now are parallel. "Turn them from darkness to light, from Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me." So we see that Satan the Devil is very much involved in darkness.
John 3. People love to do their dirty deeds in darkness.
Vs. 19 – "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world," we'll see that in a moment, that Jesus Christ brought light to the world, " This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." Let us dwell in darkness, the cover of darkness physically, the cover of spiritual darkness, because we don't want anybody to see our dirty deeds.
Vs. 20 – And, he goes on to say in verse 20: " For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." The light reproves those deeds that are done in the cover of darkness, physically and spiritually.
Vs. 21 – "He that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest," may be openly shown, " that they are manifest " or, " worked in God," " wrought in God," done zealously and enthusiastically in God. So, spiritual darkness can lead us to evil. It's parallel to that and people love the darkness because they can do evil.
Now darkness, spiritually, is the opposite of God. It's the opposite of God. Notice I John 1 and John the Apostle dwells a lot on light. He talks a lot about light, but I John 1:5 we read this.
I John 1:5-7
Vs. 5 – "This then is the message which you have heard of him, and declare to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." So he is obviously not talking about physical darkness, but he is talking about spiritual darkness, the wickedness, the evil of darkness, that's what he is talking about.
Vs. 6 – "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth." He's not talking about walking in the night but he is talking about walking in spiritual darkness. Walking in evil ways.
Vs. 7 – "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another." Why? Because we're walking in the light, as Christians walk in the light. If I walk in the light and you walk in the light, we're walking together. If I'm walking in darkness and you're walking in the light, we're not walking together. " If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin."
Notice Chapter 2, verses 9 to 11, to emphasize this point.
I John 2:9-11
Vs. 9 – "He that says he is in the light and hates his brother, is in darkness until now."
Vs. 10 – "He that loves his brother abides in the light," to go along with what Mr. Pulliam was saying, " and there is no occasion of stumbling in him."
Vs. 11 – "But he that hates his brother is in darkness, and walks in darkness, and knows not where he goes because that darkness has blinded his eyes."
So now, while we will have lots more physical darkness, definitely only nine hours of light and lots of time, 15 hours, close to it, of darkness; as opposed to 15 hours of light and nine hours of darkness, let us not walk in the spiritual darkness that is out there.
I want to read to you from a quote that I have here about darkness and light. It's from 15,000 Quotes. This is Number 5161 if you want to check me out.
"An artist once drew a picture of dreary winter twilight. The trees were heavily laden with snow and a dark house, lonely and desolate, stood bleakly in the midst of a storm. It was a sad picture." You can get that picture.
That's how it was when Mr. Pinelli used to be up in Edmonton. I think he was telling me when he was in Edmonton they used to have...they had to you know when you live in those climates where it's very short days and lots of snow, you can't get out...you have to have big rumpus rooms. I remember him saying they had to have a big rumpus room where the kids could go down, like a big family room, where they'd go down and play and bounce off the walls...and paint it light, don't paint it dark, you know, have lots of light in there...so they have a chance to bounce back and forth in that particular area.
This painter drew...this artist drew this painting that only depicted darkness. "Then, with a quick stroke of a yellow crayon, yellow marker, the artist put a light in one window. The effect was magical. The entire scene was transformed into a vision of comfort and cheer. The birth of Jesus Christ is the determinant factor that brought hope, joy and peace, to this dark world because Jesus Christ, when He came into the world, He came into the world in that picture, with that picture, but He was that bright light that came in, that soothed things for the world; especially for those that God is calling."
I think it was a wonderful quote that we need to be aware of, that the light is what we look for. John 1:4-10. And, truly, when Jesus Christ came into the world He did come to bring light. They didn't accept it, but He brought it nonetheless.
I found it rather interesting as I was reflecting on this sermon, no pun intended, but as I was reflecting on this sermon that we, as individuals, are called to be lights to this world. We're called out to be lights. How can you be a light? Do you generate your own light? Where do you get your light from? In times of darkness and spiritual darkness, how can your light and my light shine and shine brightly, because it has to have power from somewhere and it's really...we aren't generating the light. It's like...we're like the moon. We are reflecting the light of God and Jesus Christ. It's interesting. Think about that as we go on.
Vs. 4 – "In him was life," talking about Jesus Christ when He came into the world, " In him was life; and the life was the light of men." And, oftentimes, light and salvation are mixed together. Light and life are mixed together.
In fact, I can give you a quick rundown on light, what light means, what it symbolizes. This comes from Vine's Dictionary of New Testament Words, or of words in general. "The creation of light was an initial step in the creation of life. 'Let there be light,' was the first word of God spoken after His creative spirit moved upon the primary material out of which He had created the heavens and earth. It's a comprehensive term. The word 'light' is divinely rich in comprehensiveness and meaning. Its material splendor is used throughout Scripture as the symbol and synonym of all that is luminous and radiant in mental, moral and spiritual life of men and angels."
It's interesting that they've said in the Middle East, and I've tried to recall when I lived over there for about five weeks, how quickly it changes from brightness to darkness. Here, you have a more gradual transition. There, it happens very rapidly from what this article pointed out. Light was very important and people who lived in the Middle East really appreciated the sunshine.
I can tell you, being in California...not trying to bring back bad memories to Mr. Register who lived out there for a number of years...when I was in California...it is beautiful, it really is, I mean it's nice to have warm, sunny weather and I lived there for...my wife and I and our family...lived there for 11 years and I pinched myself every January when I was out washing my car with my shorts on and reading in the report about Buffalo receiving 10 inches of snow. I pinched myself! Is this true? Am I really here...because it is beautiful and it does contribute to the brightness in your life. When you see the sunshine, the sun comes out, it somehow contributes to the brightness.
Now, you know, we don't all have Seasonal Affective Disorders, so we're not all going bonkers with it and have to...they actually give people light therapy, so I'm getting a lot of light therapy here, as light is coming on me...they literally give people light therapy, because when they give it to them it makes their moods better. Amazing! So that's one way of treating it.
Let me read another for you. "Light"...it's another quote, I'm just picking out various quotes from a rather long article. "Light is an attribute of holiness and thus a personal quality. It is the outshining of God." The outshining of God. And it talks about: God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. "Darkness is the universal symbol and condition of sin and death, where light is the symbol and expression of holiness."
So, when we talk about Christ coming into the world and bringing light to the world, John 1:4, Christ brought holiness to the world, Christ brought sanity to the world, Christ brought decency and goodness and hope to the world.
Another word associated with darkness is hopelessness. Hopelessness. Chapter 1 of John and verse 4.
Vs. 4 – "In him was life; and the life was the light of men."
Vs. 5 – "And the light shines in darkness." So, brethren, even though we go into darkness don't forget to let your light shine and don't forget to keep them burning brightly, don't put some little night light out there. Let those lights be shining brightly." And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness doesn't comprehend it." People aren't going to notice it so much but it's there. It makes a difference in the world. They're not going to subscribe to it necessarily.
Vs. 6 – "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John."
Vs. 7 – "The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe."
Vs. 8 – "He was not that Light," John the Baptist wasn't, " but was sent to bear witness of that Light."
Vs. 9 – "That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world."
Vs. 10 – "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not."
So Jesus Christ came into the world to bring light, to initiate the light.
Take a look at Psalm 119:105, which tells us God's Word, that Jesus Christ left behind as the written Word, as He was the living Word, God's Word leads us to light. God's Word leads us, is a lamp of truth and is a light to us.
Vs. 105 – "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." It's interesting, about 270 times the word "light" is used in the Scriptures and, about 150, the word "darkness." So God, even, has extra emphasis on light than He does on darkness, but darkness, to warn us away from it, and I'll come to that in a moment, but Jesus Christ is that Light and His Word is light. John 12:46. Christ brought light to the world.
Vs. 46 – We read in the Gospel of John, Chapter 12, verse 46, Christ said this: "I am come a light into the world ...." "I have come into the world as a light to show the way" and the world is pictured as a place of darkness because it is in ignorance of God's way of life in general. It's in ignorance of God's plan of salvation. It's in ignorance of a right way to walk and live and go, so John 12:46, " I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes on me should not abide in darkness."
And, truly, God wants to call us out of darkness and Satan wants to keep us in darkness. But, it's interesting, how does Satan do that, by saying look at me, I'm all dark? That's why when I've heard dreams of people...I saw Satan in my dream...tell me what he looked like. I always listen to people. I mean they tell me they have a dream. I listen to their dream because I know as sure as shootin' I'm going to find out that what they're saying is not a dream from God. So, they say, I saw Satan. I say what did he look like in your dream? Oh, he had these dark...he had these red...he had this sinister mustache and had this pitchfork.
I said do you know how God says Satan would appear if he appears? Do you know how He says he would appear? II Corinthians 11:14. He says he appears as an angel of darkness? No-o-o. As " an angel of light." So Satan wants to try to simulate God's way.
As I drive down the streets of our neighborhood, I see lots of lights out. Houses covered with lights. They don't know why they're doing that. I know they don't. I'm not slamming them or their sincerity. They just do it because it's custom. You know why they're doing it? Because they're trying to help the light to come back, the light of the sun, which was powerful. And Satan the Devil is out there saying, yeah, let's go, let's be in the light, have the light. Satan the Devil tries to appear as an "angel of light." He doesn't appear as an angel of evil. He doesn't appear as an angel of wickedness, except some really weird groups that call themselves Satanists. But, in the main, he comes disguised as "an angel of light." He wants to simulate God.
But God has called us out of darkness. He's called us out of ignorance, He's called us out of misery, He's called us out of wickedness, He's called us out of discouragement, He's called us out of depression, and He's called us out of hopelessness. God is calling us out.
Vs. 12 – Read what he says here. "Then Jesus said to them, saying, 'I am the light of the world, "again," I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." I'm showing the way to life. I'm shining My flashlight and saying, this is the path to walk in, Jesus Christ says. I'm walking there. They're lit up. It's like being on an airplane if there is trouble, where all the lights show you to the exit. God's lights show you to the Kingdom and He's lighting the way to show you to the Kingdom of God.
John 12:35 and 36. I mentioned that John had a lot...and by the way there are lots of scriptures. I encourage you to look up "darkness," look up "light," you'll find lots of times where God's saying...calling them out of darkness, bringing them out of darkness... He had to bring the Israelites out of darkness. He wants us to come out of darkness. We'll see some scriptures. I can't cover them all. I'm trying to cover a number of them just to give us the idea and punctuate what I'm saying by scriptural proof.
Vs. 35 – "Then Jesus said to them, 'Yet a little while and the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walks in darkness does not know where he is going." If we're not careful in spiritual darkness, just like in physical darkness, remember what they said about those people in the cave? If I turn the lights off here and you're in darkness, you'll never find your way out and in about a week you'll go insane. You'll be afraid to move and so, God says through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, who is God as well, God the Son, "Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walks in darkness does not know where he is going."
Vs. 36 – "While you have light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light." God does not want us to be in darkness. He has called us to walk away from that. He wants us to walk in the light, "... that you may be the children of light. These things spoke Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them." See, they didn't want them to take Him yet. It wasn't His time to go yet.
Psalms 112:4 . Just one example in the Old Testament in Psalms 112:4 and I had a lot of them. I just had to not use very many, but Psalms 112:4.
Vs. 4 – "Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness ...." "Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness: he is gracious and full of compassion, and righteous." So, to those who are trying to do right, to those who desire to do right and what is right, do you decide what's right or does God decide what's right? That means you're going to follow what God says is right. Those who decide to do that, there will be light for them, to lead them through the darkness.
So, God wants us to come out of darkness. Ephesians 5:8 . At one time, we were a part of darkness, many of us, most of us, unless you were born in the Church and even then you still have some darkness because of what's out there and what you have to face as you go through every day of your life. But, Ephesians 5:8 we read this.
Vs. 8 – "For you were sometimes darkness." In times past we were darkness, that's what totally befuddled people that others wanted to turn back to darkness because when they realized they were in darkness and saw the light of God's truth and repented and changed, and then they had someone telling them go back to what you repented from and do it all over again, and some of them did and said, I'm happy! I'm happy doing what I once thought was vomit. You know, as the Bible says in II Peter 2. I'm happy doing what I once thought was evil . What I once proved was sin. I'm happy doing it again. Those people have lost the light or are certainly on their way to losing it.
Vs. 8 – "... You were sometimes darkness." We used to be that way, " but now are you light in the Lord." What makes us light? It's light in God. "... Light in the Lord: walk as children of light." We used to be that way.
I Peter 2:9. We're called out of darkness. I Peter 2:9. We usually read this scripture to say you are a royal, " a chosen generation, a royal priesthood," and then we forget the rest of it, but notice I Peter 2:9.
Vs. 9 – " You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." God calls us out of darkness. God brings us forth from darkness to His marvelous light. He doesn't want us to stay there; that's in spiritual darkness.
You remember when Jesus Christ died? Darkness covered the face of the earth. But you know what? It wasn't because what happened there is darkness, because what happened there was light. What happened there was light for Christians because Jesus Christ's sacrifice opened the way that we could be Christians; that we could follow Him, that we could have forgiveness, that we could renew that covenant every year. I certainly picture that at Passover. It may have been physical darkness over the land, but it really was light, to bring light to us.
Now there is a time coming in the future, it's called the Day of the Lord because God is going to bring darkness upon this world. Such darkness that this world never saw but not spiritual darkness, but not spiritual darkness, but physical darkness; darkness of calamity, darkness of evil that we talked about, the calamities, the woes.
Notice, I wanted to give you one scripture on it, Amos 5 . Notice what God is going to do. He is going...remember, He says, " I create good and I create evil," " I create evil." Here's some of the evil He's going to be creating.
Amos 5:18, 20
Vs. 18 – "Woe to you that desire the day of the Lord!" Oh, I can't wait for the Day of the Lord! I can't wait for the Day... The Day of the Lord is not going to be a good time for this earth. It's good at the end, because at the end Jesus Christ comes back, but the time, the duration of the Day of the Lord, is not going to be a good time! He says, " Woe to 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 !" It's going to be dark, it's going to be gloomy, it is going to be miserable.
Vs. 20 – "Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? Even very dark, and no brightness in it?" You know who is going to end up in darkness at the end? You know who is going to end up in darkness? Satan. The Prince of Darkness. Satan and his demons are going to end up in the blackness of darkness forever. That's spiritual darkness and physical darkness, although it won't matter to him, the physical side of it, but spiritually it will, he'll be miserable because he will not be able to go out and do his dirty work. He will not be able to go out and hurt people anymore. He'll not be able to go out and affect attitudes and moods to drag people down.
Jude 1:6, 13
Vs. 6 – "And the angels which kept not their first estate," and of course Satan the Devil was the great archangel who led them away, "... the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness to the judgment of the great day."
Vs. 13 – "Raging waves of the sea," describing what these people are, what these deceivers, these false preachers, these false prophets, and he parallels them with Satan, with demons, with fallen angels, with those who are rebellious, with Sodom and Gomorrah and so on, but in verse 13 he says: " Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars," now the Bible in Revelation 1:20 tells you a star is a symbol of an angel and so here, " wandering angels, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever." So what is Satan going to face at the end? The darkness, the spiritual darkness, that he tries to bring over all of us.
And during this time, again, these five months when it is darker, when it is harder to see brightness, when you see a real bright sunny day and you open the blinds and sun comes shining in, that is so nice to see! But, when it's dreary out, it does affect our attitudes and our approach, but we cannot let it affect us spiritually in the same sense as we parallel that. So, " blackness of darkness forever" is what Satan the Devil is going to be facing.
Now, Satan is against us even now. II Corinthians 4. This is my conclusion part but I have a few scriptures so don't get too...think it's going to be over too quickly, I have a few...this is the conclusion part, just so I let you know...probably another five or six minutes.
II Corinthians 4:4-6
Vs. 4 – "In whom," talking about the gospel, " In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them."
Satan the Devil, the Prince of Darkness, is busy trying to put bushels over the light. He's busy trying to cover the light. He's busy trying to put shades over the light, to keep the light of the gospel from shining forth to others.
Vs. 5 – He said in verse 5, " For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake."
Vs. 6 – " For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness," see brethren, we'll be going through physical darkness and we'll also be going through the spiritual darkness that is out there. God commands our lights to shine through it, not to absorb it, but to shine, to reflect the light of God, not to absorb the darkness, but to reflect the light of God. He's "commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
Now, the message that we have of prophecy is a message of light. Notice over in II Peter 1:19. I always tell people, you might get hung up on prophecies that might not work out and try to understand, but I'll tell you one prophecy that I stake my life on is the Kingdom of God. That's a prophecy that's coming to pass, that God's going to bring a kingdom because that's why Christ came to this earth, to preach that Gospel of the Kingdom of God, but in II Peter 1:19 we read this.
II Peter 1:19
Vs. 19 – "We also have a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as a light that shines in a dark place." What major prophecy are we all about? Preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. What are we all about? Preparing people for the Kingdom of God. That prophecy brings light and that's why it's difficult in these five months to be without the holy days that point to the plan of salvation that God has for us. It's important that we pay attention to the darkness, but also that we give more heed to the light. So, he says this is" a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn and the day star arise in your hearts." Until we finally have our Light, all, completely, totally.
Isaiah 9:2. I won't go there, but Isaiah 9:2 tells us the light will shine. The light will shine upon this world. It is coming and all in this world will know Jesus Christ, from the least of them to the greatest of them, when God's Kingdom is here there will be light.
Revelation 21:23-24. (I just dispensed with a few scriptures there with that summary.) We read this. You see in the world tomorrow, ultimately, that's all there will be is light.
Vs. 23 – "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." The One who brought light to the earth is going to bring it back to the earth again, ultimately.
Vs. 24 – "And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it."
So, the Light of God is going to ultimately shine over the entire world. The Prince of Darkness is going to be put away into "the blackness of darkness forever," but the God of light is going to be the Light of this world.
Last scripture. I Thessalonians 5. What do we do? What do we have to determine to do during this dark period of time?
I Thessalonians 5:4, 6-9. Here's what we have to determine to do.
Vs. 4 – "But you, brethren, are not in darkness," we might be in physical darkness, okay, can't stop that, that's part of the cycle, but " you're not in spiritual darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief," that you won't be aware of the plan of God, the coming of Jesus Christ to set up His kingdom. "You are all the children of light." You're children who believe in truth. You're children who walk in truth. You're children who do truth. You're children who tell the truth. You're my children He says. "You're all children of light, and the children of the day." We're children of the day, we're not of the night, nor of darkness, spiritually speaking.
Vs. 6 – "Therefore let us not sleep, as others do," let's not fall asleep. During this winter time, let's not...let's get all lazy...let's get all depressed, let's get all discouraged, let's forget God's wonderful plan, let's forget His kingdom to come, let's forget all that, because, hey, it's kinda' dark and we don't remember and we're down and we're dreary. Don't forget, let's not sleep, " but let us watch and be sober." Let's be alert.
Vs. 7 – "For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunk in the night." That's when they go do their dirty deeds.
Vs. 8 – "But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love," we're continuing to grow in godly characteristics, " and for a helmet, the hope of salvation." We want the hope of salvation in front of us.
Vs. 9 – "For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ." So God has appointed us to be a part of His kingdom. God's appointed us to His wonderful world tomorrow, not to the wrath, not to the misery that comes with walking in spiritual darkness.
So what can we do? We need to stay in the light. We need to do all we can to take in the light. We need to have light therapy. Light therapy. How do you have light therapy? You get close to the light. Who is the Light? Jesus Christ and God our Father. So, we pray to God. How do we get close to the Light? We study His Word. How do we get close to the Light? We think about His wonderful kingdom to come, which is His light.
We stay positive. We don't let the negatives come in. We keep our eyes on the Light. We rejoice in the Light. We're glad that we know God's way. We're glad we know God's truth. We keep God's plan in mind in spite of the fact we do not have annual holy days.
We have a weekly holy day and that weekly holy day pictures a time of peace. Pictures a time of rest for the whole world, not just for you and me. Every Sabbath we can remember God's wonderful plan. We can study. We can pray. We can stay in the Light until the day and the time when we get back into the springtime, God's holy days come on again, and we start seeing the plan of salvation, which is the hope for this entire world.
Matthew 5:14-16, I'm not going to quote it, I'll just paraphrase it to you, God says, "You are the light of the world." And, as we go through this dark season, let's all make sure that our lights truly shine.