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Friday, November 14, 2008

Light or darkness? Your Choice

2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2Pe 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

This is a serious warning Peter is bringing to the people here. Too often we read the Bible casually without taking time to stop and meditate and think carefully on what we have read. Let us pray the Lord will deliver us of such a bad habit. Peter warned these people will behave and minister in such a way that others will follow their error, and this way is a dangerous, destructive way that will lead straight to hell. There is a spirit of covetousness driving these false representatives, and they have these scripted little sermonettes which sound pretty and nice, and do not offend, and lead straight to your wallet. Before they ever were, judgment was set against this kind of behavior and God will not be mocked. What is sown will be reaped. Just because they have not yet been judged, they and others think God is okay with what they are doing, but He is nothing like them and He will not change His just laws, nor allow injustice to be unpunished. They sell their cotton candy sickly sweet preaching tapes to unsuspecting people for way too much money, making merchandise out of them, as the Scripture warns and it's like feeding poison to those who don't discern.
When you see ministers getting up and preaching prosperity and peace, with no mention of the cross, or the blood, no mention of this leadership and infilling of the Holy Ghost that leads us to the cross where our self life is crucified with Christ and He reigns in us, there is a problem. Jesus did not come to bring peace on the earth-He lived the example we must follow. He lived a self-less life poured out for the sake of others and there was much tribulation and suffering involved. Because of these covetous and selfish ministries, which talk religious but have no power, no fruit of the Spirit, the world looks on in amusement, recognizing the fake, and they mock and laugh and speak evil of the Gospel and the Lord. They provoke others to blaspheme, to defame the name of the Lord and His Holy Word.

Christianity is reviled, and those who stand for truth are demonized as extremists and identified as haters and intolerant. This is the spirit that rages even now and it is getting worse. It is going to get much worse. I saw on the news this morning, a humanist group has bought a controversial ad with a young woman dressed as Santa with her hands up in the air and a smile on her face. Above her, in big green letters "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake" It is a holiday themed ad, and has been purchased by the American Humanist Association to be placed on the side of BUSES in Washington, DC. Public buses. The anti christ spirit is alive and raging so we need to be drawing nigh to Him, fortifying ourselves and seeking His wisdom and truth so we aren't swept away in the flood of deception.

The righteous dwell among these, and see what is happening, and are vexed by the deceit, by the total misrepresentation of God. It grieves their heart to see people led astray by the selfish desires of their own heart which these false teachers and prophets are only too happy to cater to. There is an interesting Scripture here I want to pause and examine and depend on the Holy Spirit to open our understanding.

2Pe 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

God was not lenient with the angels that sinned. They erred, they missed the mark. They fell from their first habitation-heaven as angels of God. They followed an 'angel of light' into rebellion against God and the Scripture says there was war in heaven. That also tells me, by example, that if I were to follow an 'angel' of light, someone who represented something other than the True Light, which is Jesus Christ (Joh_14:6) then I will end up fighting against God, and the truth. I would end up lost, too in spiritual darkness. The only way free from this kind of darkness is divine intervention. Pattern set for all who follow this path of deception. Those who teach His Word to others really need to consider and to take heed to this Scripture-including myself. I am not a preacher, but those of us who even write about HIM and share it with others is included here, too. Any messenger of the Word is included.
Whether you bear witness of the Word to your friends and co-workers, or family, or preach or write about the Lord, we must know these things and be so very careful. That word angel is angelos, and it means a messenger, pastor, or angel sent from God as an ambassador or bearer of tidings. I am always aware as I study the Word and write down what the Holy Spirit shows me, (He shines that Light that helps me understand) that I am totally NOT smart enough to think all this up on my own, and amazed that the Lord would let me speak His Word and I pray HE not let me get it wrong. What an awe-inspiring responsibility and privilege. It's intimidating when I stop and think about it.

These angels have been cast down to hell, the Word says. The word for hell is G5020 tartaroo. It means these angels are incarcerated, locked up in the deepest abyss of hell or Hades. They have been imprisoned, with chains of darkness. I can't fathom in my mind that kind of blackness. When you apply this to human beings, recall the Lord Jesus Christ warned the people to walk in the Light while they had the Light lest darkness overtake them for those who walk in darkness don't know or realize where they are going. (Joh_12:35) If we err from truth, which is light or revelation of truth, the only thing left is to wander off into darkness. This is the same darkness (spiritual death and blindness) the lost are bound in until they come to Christ and surrender their heart and life and repent of their sins. What an awful thing. To be lost and not even know it. It takes the work of the Holy Spirit shining that light into their darkness so they can see; so they can understand they are lost.

The chains of darkness-is this a literal place of darkness in a place called hell so thick it can be felt or is He just telling us this darkness is so strong it binds? Exo_10:21 refers to the plague of darkness over Egypt sent by God and Scripture says it was a darkness that may be felt. The word used for darkness in Exodus is different. (H2822) It means a darkness that brings with it destruction, and death and sorrow. Jesus also warned them in Luk_11:35 to take heed or be very careful that the light (or understanding) they had was not of darkness. The light He is talking about here is (G5457 phos), it means a natural fire or light. That speaks to me of something dependent on the natural. Make sure your understanding of truth is not rooted in human effort, and human wisdom (which always tends to examine everything with a self-centered focus) for both will lead you astray. Then in the next verse, Jesus says this:

Luk 11:36 If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.

This word for light is (G5460 photeinos) and it means transparent, bright, full of lustrous light. It's a pure light, so if the second light is pure, reason says the natural light mentioned in Luk_11:35 was not pure. There are no dark corners or hidden places, the whole being is well lit, full of light. If you are walking in a place that though lit, has dark areas, dark hidden places, it's hard to tell what might be lurking hidden in those places. The Scripture says in HIM there is no darkness at all. No darkness will be allowed in heaven, so let us pray the light of the Glorious Gospel shines brightly in and all through us, lighting up any hidden areas of darkness and exposing them so they can be removed. This kind of light will shine, illuminate everything so it can be seen and understood. (G5461 photizo) This is what the Holy Spirit does. Those who are seeking understanding of the Lord, of the Word, He has to come and shine this photizo light for us to understand. This is also the kind of light He shines in darkness so the lost can see their condition and come out of darkness.

2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

This God who said "Let there be light" when there was nothing but a dark, empty void, has lit up our heart-our minds with understanding that the glory of God is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! It requires the working of God-we can't free ourselves from this darkness, and neither can the angels that sinned. You don't know how awful that darkness is until you have seen pure light. God help us never to wander off back into darkness. But if we don't accept and embrace the Light, the understanding that He gives us, that is exactly what will happen.
These false prophets and teachers are described this way:

2Pe 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

This is the result when men love darkness rather than light. God won't force Truth on people. If they want to remain willfully ignorant, He won't force His Word on them. He sends it to them and gives them an opportunity to accept or reject what He says. The choice is entirely ours. I thought about this because it is a disturbing verse. These are wells-a source or supply but they have no living water. They are like clouds-no substance, not anchored, but easily carried by the storm. They are unstable. Their understanding is not truth, their mind is held in custody by darkness-blindness to real Truth. What an awful condition. My God-when you see people railing against righteousness, demanding their rights to unnatural lifestyles, remember their understanding is guarded by darkness. You look up the word 'reserved' G5083 tereo, and that is what it means. To be guarded, held in custody, kept. It will help us when we understand these things not to rail on them when they rail on us. We won't return evil for evil when they speak evil of us, we should pray for them. We once were in that kind of darkness, bound, unable to understand truth, unable to save ourselves, hopelessly lost until HOPE shined the light that we could be free into our minds, and we joyfully surrendered in repentance, and embraced His sacrifice for our sins. Doesn't understanding this make you want to stop what you are doing and start praying for your lost loved ones? Oh, God help us be more concerned, for others, and not ourselves.

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