Saturday, August 29, 2015

HOW DARKNESS FLEES FROM The LIGHT of GOD!

When was the last time you entered an unlit room and with a broom attempted to sweep all of the darkness out?

Or used a bicycle tire pump to push all the air out of an empty glass?

Silly I know, because neither of those methods will work; even if you sweat and strain and put as much effort into these exercises as you can, it's vanity and vexation - not to mention useless.

It's far more effective to simply flick on a light switch and let the brightness of a light bulb chase away that darkness! As well as for that empty glass - you only need to fill it with some water and it will push all of that air out all on its own.

The WORD of God has been viewed in Scripture as Light (PSALM 119:105) as well as Water (EPH. 5:26). The Word of God brings spiritual sight (2 COR. 4:6), it brings clarity, sureness of direction, confidence as we walk in the Way (JOHN 14:6), it brings to us cheer and comfort.

UPDATE: We are blessed to include here a teaching by pastor Sonny Islas on MATT. 5:14-16 entitled "You Are The Light Of The World". This teaching was given at The HOUSE of TRUTH Fellowship on SEPT. 06, 2015. ~ end UPDATE

Likewise its the Water of the Word that satisfies our souls with its spiritual vitality, replenishes and revives us and gives us relief from the fierce heat of persecution and tribulations.

The Light and the Water of the Word are both powerful at ridding us of darkness that lurks still in the corners and crevices of our souls:

PSALM 119:8-10
8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy Word.
10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.

As Coriakin said to our beloved heroes in The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader:


 "To defeat the darkness out there, you must defeat the darkness inside yourself."

The LORD JESUS said it this way:

JOHN 8:12
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

This is an essential in spiritual warfare - "upright and outreach", which is to say, before we can have an effective outreach in the Gospel, we must be the recipient of the Gospel's saving work ourselves. We cannot share Light that we do not yet possess, and walk in the Light before the LORD our Righteousness, clothed in robes of the same (1 JOHN 1:7-9; IS. 61:10).

This world, sold under sin and plagued profusely by its curse, is a temptress to our yet unredeemed flesh (our fallen nature associated with the corruption that still hounds us like ravenous dogs, ever intent on devouring devilish dainties). She is a seducer, an evil woman and will seek to draw us away from the path of righteousness, away from the LORD of Light, away from the Streams of Living Water only to leave us under the condemnation of the enemy, alone in the dark and thirsting.

In Proverbs we read the following:

PROVERBS 6:20-28

20 My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
21 Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.
22 When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.
23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:
24 To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.
25 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.
26 For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adultress will hunt for the precious life.
27 Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?
28 Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?.

If we heed the godly counsels of our saintly parents who will encourage us in the Word (something that is sadly lacking among too, too many Christian parents these days, who pawn off their children to Sunday School teachers and trust that they will rear them up in the fear and admonition of the LORD instead of themselves; see EPH. 6:4), if we are determined to bind them closely to our hearts - being the invaluable treasures that they are - we will walk through this world safely from the allurements of its sins.

This is the sanctifying, purifying power of the Holy Word of God as we partake of its truth and grace! See JOHN 17:17; JOHN 1:17.

This does not mean we will never struggle against sin - for as long as we are in this flesh, we shall know of such struggles and storms in this life. Paul spoke of these things in ROMANS 7 and we can so readily relate to the apostle ourselves, can't we?

However, we can and must live honorably for the LORD, and take hold of the weapons of warfare that He has so graciously provided and walk in righteousness and holiness - by the power of the Spirit alone (NOT by our own will power or determination: remember - we have the sin nature (ROM. 8:21-23) still along side the divine nature (2 PET. 1:3-5) of God's Spirit by right of the spiritual rebirth and this corruption taints everything that is from ourselves, and perpetrates the storms that are the struggles against sin; (GAL. 5:16-17)). 

Even if we could resist from committing a particular sin at a particular moment of time, that does nothing in removing our sin nature - any more than trying to sweep darkness out of a room - or pumping air into an empty glass to remove the air! 
Its the Light and Life, the Water and the Wisdom of God that must be employed in getting darkness out of our lives, whatever its form may take. It is the LORD Who instills in us greater measure of His holy character, by His grace!

Remember: VICTORY is not obtained in a VACUUM (the absence of a committed sin) but in the VITALITY (Empowerment by the Life of Christ in us) of the LORD Jesus Christ!

The victory is ours indeed, as the LORD Who is LIGHT has granted us this same to pierce the darkness, expose the lies and deception, and rescue the blind of this world from the judgment that is to come.

MATTHEW 5:14-15
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

We find ourselves in such a state today that the howling winds of iniquity grow louder and more fierce; the world is darkening with increasing storms that would swallow us up. The pelting rains of perdition, the crashing waves of wickedness, the lethal lightening of lasciviousness are all arrayed against us by the god of this world (2 COR. 4:4). Where can we find our refuge?

Look to the Light of the LORD, whose beams brilliantly burst through the darkness as easily as a white hot knife slices through paper. That Light shines forth abundantly from the that LIGHTHOUSE that is JESUS! He is there, in His Almighty stance directing us to Himself on the Island of Infinite Safety and Security from sin's awful devastation.

Let us look unto Jesus (HEB. 12:2), let us run to Him our Refuge (HEB. 6:17-19), and fear nothing of this world or the Whore that is amassing even more power unto herself in these Last Days whereby Satan will employ his assaults upon the church (MATT. 16:18). Let us take up the armor of Light and stand boldly with our KING Who leads the way and defeat the darkness that looms all about us, as well as any remnants of darkness within!

If you have been adrift on the sea of sin, lost in the dark and alone, and wonder if after all of this time, you would ever be accepted back by the LORD, listen! He is WAITING FOR YOU TO COME BACK! HE LONGS FOR YOU, LOVES YOU and DESIRES YOUR RETURN! 
HE LOVES YOU and only waits for you to repent! YOU WILL MOST ASSUREDLY BE WELCOMED BACK! 

JOHN 6:37 
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

In closing let us meditate on these verses; and may the LORD keep and bless you in JESUS ALMIGHTY and HOLY Name!

ROMANS 13:11-14
11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

JEWELS From The GOSPEL of JOHN - VESSELS of GLORY - JOHN 2:6-11

The following is a series of short exhortations, brief commentary and writings to convey thoughtful meditation on God's Word. I have chosen the Gospel of John as the subject. These articles will not run contiguously on this blog but peppered throughout and in the midst of other articles (though some might be posted consecutively). I pray that these will be a blessing and an edification for the saints.

The last time we were in Cana, we observed a wedding celebration in progress; they ran out of wine and Mary knew exactly Who could help in this situation . . . 

JOHN 1:1-5

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

We continue now and see how our LORD handled the situation, and what this means to us as His followers:

JOHN 1:6-11

6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

The LORD would use what was at hand, and as is the manner of custom for the Jews, they would not eat any meal without first washing their hands, and for that, they would need water to purify themselves - and so there were these six stone water pots:

Stone - from the earth; there were six of them; man was made from the earth, created on the sixth day. Thus we may infer from an allegorical sense that these vessels unto glory (See ROM. 9:23-24; 2 COR. 4:7; 2 TIM. 2:20) are the saints of the LORD. A firkin is about 8-9 gallons and each of these six water pots held 2-3 firkins apiece, meaning about 130 gallons total. 
In the blessed union between the LORD and those who express faith in the Gospel and receive salvation (EPH. 5:31-32), there is a joining of Spirit to spirit and in a very deeply spiritual sense of the word, we become "one with the LORD" (1 COR. 6:17). As His children, we serve the LORD and one another, as He has given us as His own example, being the Supreme Servant in God's Kingdom.
Just as He washed our feet, He has likewise instructed us to wash one anothers feet (JOHN 13:14), and so the ministry of washing is ours, the church of the LORD Jesus Christ, as we use the water of the Word (EPH. 5:26).

In these six pots of stone we witness pure water that would become defiled when once its been drawn and used to cleanse hands and arms. Yet in ourselves, we represent those who were once defiled and now made clean by the blood of the LAMB (1 COR. 6:11). We are the purified who will one day see God face to Face (MATT. 5:8)! On that Day we shall be blessed to partake of a far greater and glorious Wedding Feast than the one we see before us today in this passage (REV. 19:7-9).

Note that these stone pots are filled to the rim - and likewise are we to be filled with the Spirit - (EPH. 5:18; the idea here in this verse is to be continually being filled by the Spirit, passive perfect present tense: an ongoing reception from the LORD towards ourselves), nothing lacking (1 THESS. 4:12) and be filled with the grace and knowledge of the LORD Jesus Christ (COL. 1:9; 2 PET.1:3; 3:18).

As soon as anyone would draw from any of these stone pots, they would no longer be full, thus we must resort to continue to be filled with the Spirit, to overflowing - that we may draw out to minister to others, yet still be full ourselves, like a lake that has an inlet and outlet of the same capacity.

When the governor of the feast tasted the water, he declared to the bridegroom that its customary to serve the best wine first, then that which is of lesser quality is served, but that he has saved the best wine for the last.
Here we see the transformation of the LORD's miraculous work: He Turned The Water Into Wine!
Likewise there is transformation from the sinner to the sanctified, from the heinous to the holy, from the hell-bound rebel to the heaven-sent righteous!

We note that when the LORD hung upon the cross, the Roman soldiers were sent by Pilate to verify that He was in fact dead after so 'short' a time of a mere six hours (crucified victims were known to live on for days, or even weeks if they were cruelly provided water in their dying thirst). The soldier pierced the side of our LORD with a spear and blood and water flowed, indicating the certainty of His demise (upon death, blood separates between its component parts of platelets and plasma; plasma may appear clear as water); this is medically speaking, known as hypnovolemic shock.

These are the emblems of the LORD's purchase for His own Bride, purchased out of the 'slave-market of sin' to become a beautiful bride, whose garments are pure and sanctified (REV. 19:7-8). The wine of His blood is amply supplied for any and all of humanity to come and be washed of their sins, and inherit eternal life as the blessed bride of our glorious LORD Jesus!

May we all, as did His disciples, witness His glory and power, His grace and truth, and believe on Him! AMEN.

The next time we shall look at JOHN 2:13-17 where relatives of Jesus of Nazareth deem Him 'out of His mind' because they could not understand Him. Similarly we are looked upon by our own family, friends and co-workers as crazy or weird - even as 'Jesus Freaks'. But we are of sound mind and heart, as the LORD has seen fit by His Spirit. We will meet again to look at "The Mad Messiah?"