The People Walking in Darkness Have Seen a Great Light
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
[August 13, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]
(Luke 1:76-79 ESV) (76) And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, (77) to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, (78) because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high (79) to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
We had originally scheduled a post for today in which I give an inside look into the workings of most church board meetings, pointing out that many, many churches are led by unregenerate people. In that post I cite my own 30 years of pastoral experience in numbers of churches.
But this is Christmas Eve. We should look at Light, not darkness today.
Light and darkness are two huge and vital themes in the Word of God. Right from the get go —
(Gen 1:2-3 ESV) (2) The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (3) And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Darkness is death. Where there is no light, there is no life. No photosynthesis, no warmth, no energy. When God spoke light into the darkness, He spoke life into being. Light and life. Darkness and death. It is not surprising then that these were the very first creative words of God – let there be light! And He did this before He created the sun and stars! God, who is light Himself, is the origin of light. He is God. He alone is to be worshipped — not some sun or moon god. It is the Lord who keeps the sun’s raging hydrogen bomb-like burning going. His might is beyond our ability to comprehend. Our sun is a lesser star of billions and billions more – all shining and burning because of the energy given them by this God who has revealed Himself to us. Here we hang in space on nothing, tipped at just the right angle, set at just the right distance from the fire, so that we aren’t consumed like a roasted marshmallow nor are we frozen in a wasteland of absolute zero.
And so it is spiritually. With our souls —
(John 1:1-5 ESV) (1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) He was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (4) In him was life, and the life was the light of men. (5) The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
We deal with darkness every day in this blog ministry. Most all of our readers deal with it. We battle against the enemy of our souls who is called the Prince of the kingdom of darkness —
(Eph 6:12 ESV) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
That is where this evil of abuse comes from. The kingdom of darkness. When Adam and Eve fell in sin, darkness once again covered the creation. Spiritual darkness. With it came blindness so that though the heavens declare in full view the majesty and glory of God, men cannot see it. Even more, they will not see it. They know God exists. They know He is the Creator. They know (Romans 1) that they owe Him all of their thanksgiving. But they won’t give it. They refuse to acknowledge Him and instead choose the darkness:
(John 3:19-21 ESV) (19) And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. (20) For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. (21) But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
Man the sinner loves the darkness. He chooses the realm of death instead of light and life. He is, well, like Gollum in those deep, dark caves in the depths of the mountains. He is a distorted form of what Adam and Eve once were. clinging to his own way in the dark as his precious. Light? He hates it. Why? Because light dispels the darkness and makes the truth plain for all to see. Light shows man for what he really is in his sin. It shows his wicked deeds for the evil that they really are. If Gollum is to ever come out of that cave and be restored to the glory of Eden, it is going to require a second Creation work by God.
And that is what Christmas is. It is our celebration of the second and new creation. When Christ was born in Bethlehem, Light came into the world once more. I suppose that is why the Lord chose a bright, burning star to guide the magi and to announce the birth of this King of kings. Light, you see, announcing the Light. “Let there be Light!” and there was Light. Light that was the life of mankind.
Many of you (all of us really) deal with spiritual wickedness and darkness every single day. Abusers are of the realm of darkness. They are its children, children of the devil as Jesus told the Pharisees that they were. As such, abusers love the darkness and hate the light. They dwell in an abyss of lies and deceit by which they seek to overwhelm light and truth. But in the end, it just isn’t going to work for them. Light is never defeated by darkness. Light, in its very smallest amount overwhelms and dispels the dark like a spark in a cave.
One day, all darkness will be gone forever. The Bible ends — or perhaps we should say it begins again — with this very theme:
(Rev 22:1-5 ESV) (1) Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb (2) through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (3) No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. (4) They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. (5) And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
Forever and ever. Hallelujah!
[August 13, 2022: Editors’ notes:
—For some comments made prior to August 13, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to August 13, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to August 13, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (August 13, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]