As we study together in this teaching about light (and darkness), I hope Holy Spirit will use it to liberate you just a little more through Jesus. Holy Spirit permanently implanted within you is Jesus in his “unbodied Spirit-form.” I want Holy Spirit to take whatever truth you find in this teaching and use it to release you into the true freedom of God’s love, light, and life, for John 8: 32-36 informs us genuine freedom is found only by knowing and experiencing the Source of truth which is Jesus.
Let’s jump right into our study of light. To do so, we will first learn what science and the Bible teach us about the origin of light and darkness. Frankly, as to the origin of both, modern science teaches us absolutely nothing of a concrete or conclusive nature; scientists simply cannot give any plausible explanation about where and how light—and darkness—originated. No, science cannot tell us much about the origin of light and darkness; all their attempts to do so must be considered as purely speculative theory thus far in scientific endeavor. On the other hand, even though science discloses nothing about the origin of light and darkness, we can learn much from science about the properties, action, “composition”, speed, and effects of light and darkness.
Science often answers HOW the universe “works.” The Bible answers WHY things work!
What Does The Bible Teach?
As is so often the case in dealing with natural phenomena, we must turn to the Bible for a definitive statement about the origins of light and darkness. For example, we read in Daniel 2: 22 that light dwells with God. That is to say, light is part of the essence and “substance” of God. It is part of His person, makeup, and nature. It is embodied in him. God is light (I John 1: 5). All natural light (including the entire range of the spectrum, both visible and invisible) and all spiritual light or illumination are outrayings of God’s own Light-Being. Light has its origin in, and emanates and radiates from God. From the brightest star in the universe to the tail of the tiniest firefly—all light originates with God, for God is Light.
Psalm 104: 2 teaches that God is clothed with light. I Timothy 6: 16 tells us that God lives in light (not that he lives in the focus or beam of an external light as an actor before a spotlight, but that he “inhabits” light); and, finally, James 1: 17 sums up the matter of the origin of light by stating cogently that God is the Father of all that gives light. Also, we must not overlook the classic statements of the origin of light at the time of creation as found in the first chapter of Genesis and in Isaiah 45: 6 and 7.
Now let’s briefly examine the nature of light and a definition of light. The simplest definition of light is that it is radiant energy, luminous energy, or a “force” which illuminates that with which it comes in contact. Light is the basic life-giving source throughout the universe. By the marvelous chemical process of photosynthesis, light “creates” life by converting radiant energy to chemical energy. Later, we shall discuss in more detail “spiritual” as well as natural photosynthesis.
Light is generalized throughout the universe, and where there is no light there is darkness, intense cold, and generally chaotic conditions. Light “curbs” darkness and since both are forces or energies, there is a conflict between the two throughout the universe. Light by its curbing and limiting power is inherently “stronger” than darkness. Various spectrums, degrees, and types of light possess healing qualities—such as vitamin D in sunshine, the soothing, healing qualities of infra-red light, or the awesome power of laser light as used in modern medical and surgical techniques.
Of course, I have been speaking thus far of natural light; the reader who has had his spiritual eyes opened will have already begun to see some awesome implications of spiritual light, too, however. By simple definition, spiritual light possesses in the spiritual realm the same illuminating and healing powers as natural light in the material realm. Much more will be said about that later in this teaching.
Darkness—which is also a created phenomena as we read in Isaiah 45: 6 and 7—is simply the absence of light or a force which interferes with the radiation of light. In the presence of darkness (ranging from twilight to total darkness) there is cold, chaos, and little or no life, because the process of photosynthesis is rendered inoperative. Spiritual darkness is for one to be lacking in spiritual illumination, to be lacking in the experiential knowledge of God which can be had only by personally accepting and appropriating to oneself the sacrifice of Jesus on one’s behalf.
The Bible uses the expression “kingdom of darkness” to illustrate the milieu and lifestyle of those who have not yet been born anew into God’s kingdom of light. Here you should take a few moments to read and ponder Colossians 1: 12 and 13 and John 3: 3-8 in the light of this study about light and darkness. Thus far in discussing the origin and nature of light my thoughts have been largely introductory. Let’s hasten on to the major theme of this teaching.
Lights In Human History
Until the appearance of Jesus of Nazareth in human flesh as the only begotten Son of God, the brightest “light” the world had yet seen up to that point in history was Adam. Adam was a glorious, scintillating, shining being arrayed in light. [see our other teaching on this website titled Whole In One] This was Adam in his perfection and innocence before his fall into sin and death. Adam was literally clothed in light before his transgression in the garden; he was a spectacular being, beyond human languages to describe.
The artistic representations we see in religious books and magazines picture Adam in the garden before the fall as a kind of “Charles Atlas” or Tarzan-like Superman. These drawings and pictures fall far short of what Adam was really like—clothed in a garment of light that literally shone as the noonday sun, scintillating with all the colors of the spectrum as he walked and talked in unbroken fellowship with God, the Father of Lights.
Only the last Adam, Jesus, as John saw Him in Revelation 1: 14-16 can compare with, yes, and surpass in glory, the first Adam as he was before the entrance of sin into the experience of humankind. Only the cleansing blood of the last Adam can restore fallen humanity to that awesome place of fellowship with the Father of Lights that Adam once knew. How very far we see humanity has really fallen when we behold with our spiritual eyes what Adam was like before his fall.
The next great man of light to appear on this planet was Moses. But how dim was his light compared to that of Adam. His relative dimness compared to Adam’s brightness certainly shows the ravages of sin upon the human race in just a few thousands of years. We all know—or should know—the story of Moses’ testings and trials as God molded and shaped him into the great leader of God’s people for that generation—as God shaped him into the forerunner of a greater Prophet (Jesus) who was yet to come.
We read in Exodus 34: 29 that when Moses descended from Mt. Sinai with the two tablets of stone—he had been so close to the living God—that “the skin of his face shone and sent forth beams of light by reason of his speaking with the Lord.” The New Testament commentary on this event (2 Corinthians 3: 7) tells us that Moses’ face shone with brilliance and glory. Yes, the light of God shining from within Moses, much dimmer than that of Adam, shows us how far humanity had fallen by Moses’ time; and yet it is a prophetic picture—a foretaste—of that which is yet to be.
Another human to have within his being a portion of the light of God was John the Baptizer. We read of his light in John 5: 35. Yet, we do not see his light; he was merely called a light. Adam was clothed in light; Moses’ face shone with light; John was merely called a light. Do you see how sin in the successive generations of humanity has slowly dimmed the actual light of God shining forth from his children? We see the progressive—or should we say regressive—ravages of sin down through the centuries of human history. From being clothed in light, to merely being called a light.
Another Species Of Light-Beings
Not only do we read of a man who was clothed in light, of a man whose face shone with light, and of a man who was called a light, but we also read of another race or species of created beings who share these characteristics of light: Angels. However, since it is not within the scope of this teaching to discuss these other created beings, I refer you to only two biblical references as a starting point if you wish to pursue a further study about angels: Matthew 28: 3 and Revelation 10: 1. The angels, too, are clothed in light as God is.
Jesus, the LIGHT Of The World
There is one light, of course, which is the Light. I refer to Jesus, and let’s now study at length that wonderful light. One basic point at the outset: all of the characteristics—and greater—regarding light that were a part of the first Adam will, of course, be part of the person and nature of Jesus, the Head of an entire new race of supernaturally created beings. Whatever the first Adam had, the last Adam, Jesus, possesses in far greater measure.
Let us pause again to point out that every time I refer to light in this teaching, I am referring to light in the sense of actual, literal light as well as to spiritual light. Let us not spiritualize away the actual, nor literalize away the spiritual.
Many of my readers are familiar with the description of Jesus in the first chapter of John’s Gospel. It seems clear that here the description of Jesus as the light of the world is primarily spiritual; on the other hand, in the first chapter of the Revelation to John we read of Jesus as the actual literal out-raying of the light in which God dwells. Let us look at a few of the verses in John 1. In verse 4 we read that Jesus, the light, is the life of all people. Could we say that through a process of “spiritual photosynthesis” Jesus gives LIFE to all humanity? If not now, by the end of the ages of time?
What profound depths of truth we still need to have Holy Spirit teach us about how Jesus gives LIFE to all people. In verse 5 we read that the light of Jesus shines on in the darkness and that the darkness cannot overpower that light. In verse 9 of John 1, we read that the true light illumines every person who comes into the world. Expert estimates inform us that since the creation of humanity there have been approximately 50 billion people upon this planet of whom over 7 billion are now living; by what amazing process does Jesus illumine every person who comes into the world?
Other references in John’s gospel (8: 12 and 12: 46) tell us that Jesus is the light of the world and that whoever follows him will not walk in darkness. Are you walking in darkness, are there areas of your life that are yet dark? Are you following him? If you are, there should be increasingly less and less darkness in your life. What a test of true discipleship, of a true follower of Jesus. We conclude this portion of our study with Hebrews 1 :3 where we read that Jesus is the sole expression of the glory of God; He is the light-being, the outraying of the nature of Father God.
Jesus, The Light Of The Universe
Let us now see that Jesus is not only the light of the world in a spiritual sense, but that He is also the only true light of the world in the sense of natural light. As the creator and sustainer of the atomic structure of the entire universe as we read in Colossians 1: 16 and 17, Jesus is the very First Principle, the First Cause, the sustaining power by which all things adhere together, consist, and have life. Jesus actually “binds” together the entire created universe, all things visible and invisible.
Jesus is the elusive “God Particle” physicists have been searching for the past few decades. His actual being is the very outraying of all light in the universe as it flows forth from the Father. His unveiled being is brighter than a thousand suns, far surpassing the brilliance and splendor of countless galaxies.
Let us not limit the Jesus to his humanity—to a babe in a manger, to a man of flesh and blood. He is far above all principalities and powers and has “ascended” into the heavenlies. Yes, he is Man, but let us not forget that he is also God, and that one of his characteristics is that he is light. We have already seen just a dim glimpse of this in the first chapter of the Revelation.
Preview Of Coming Attractions
There are other Bible references that reveal this facet of Jesus’ nature and being. How often we have skimmed over the amazing account of Jesus’ transfiguration on the mount in Luke 9: 28-36 and Matthew 17: 1-6. You recall the incident: Jesus, accompanied by Peter, James, and John, went up on a high mountain. There, Moses and Elijah appeared in vision and were talking with Jesus. As they talked, the veil of flesh was momentarily stripped from Jesus and the disciples caught a fleeting glimpse of the true person of Jesus. The disciples saw his face shining clear and bright like the sun, and his clothing became white as light. This is Jesus as he now is, as he really is, no longer veiled by his humanity.
Mark 9: 2 uses the word “transfigured” referring to Jesus’ “change” on the mount. That same word is found in 2 Corinthians 3: 18 where we read of how we are gradually being changed into the image of Jesus. Think of it—as he was on that mount, brilliant in scintillating splendor, so shall we be one day, helping to illuminate the entire universe with the outraying of Jesus from within us. Did Peter, James, and John realize that they were seeing what they would one day become? Do we realize what God has in store for his children? Everything—and more—that the first Adam lost, we shall regain as God the Holy Spirit transfigures—metamorphosizes—us into the very image of his only begotten Son.
A Shadow Not A Shadow
Peter, a short while after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension into the heavenlies experienced just a slight foretaste of this royal splendor in an interesting incident in the 5th chapter of Acts. Do you recall how people kept bringing the sick to Peter that perhaps by just his shadow falling upon them they might be healed? Interestingly, in the original Greek language the word here for “shadow” is not a word meaning a dark spot cast by something in the path of the sun’s light. No, it is a word meaning just the opposite of shadow. It means a shining of divine energy, a radiance as of a beam of sunlight. So it was not Peter’s shadow that healed; it was God’s healing light within him, an actual, tangible light emanating out from within him that healed the people. Praise God for at least this one New Testament glimpse into what God has in store for his children as they are filled more and more with light of God, now veiled by the flesh.
In this present portion of our teaching, we must not, of course, overlook the second most important light ever to illuminate the spirits and minds of men: the written Word of God. But again—as with the matter of angels—it is not within the scope of this teaching to dwell at length upon such verses as Psalm 119: 105, Proverbs 6: 23, and scores of others which declare the written Word of God to be a lamp unto our feet and a light in the darkness. Entire libraries are filled with writing upon this subject and our devoting so little space to it herein is certainly in no way intended to minimize the fact that God’s written Word is, and always shall be for the ages of time and eternity, a light to lighten human hearts and minds to the truths of God and Jesus.
Other Lights In The Darkness
And we would also be derelict in our discussion of light if we neglected God’s people who are “lights” to their generations—people such as Peter, Paul, “Saint” Francis, Jeanne Guyon, John Hus, Luther, Calvin, John and Charles Wesley, Dwight L. Moody, Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Anne Graham Lotz, Beth Moore, and the like. Certainly such people of God as these have been and are lights of God in a unique sense in their own generations.
Our entire discussion thus far has been only preparatory and introductory to what shall now follow throughout the rest of this teaching. Let us begin to personalize our subject of light and now dwell at some length upon the real “meat” of that which I really long to share with you. And that “meat” is to see how you and I are involved in this matter of light, both natural and spiritual. We come now to see where we fit into God’s plan to illumine the present darkness upon our planet. While it is true we live in God’s Kingdom, it is also true there remain pockets of darkness (some large, some small) throughout his Kingdom. Some pockets of darkness might remain for ages to come yet, but they will grow increasingly smaller as God’s light illumines more and more of his Kingdom.
You Are The Light Of the World
Let me make a very simple statement first, a statement so simple, yet very far reaching in its fullest implications and ramifications. That statement is: I am the light of the world. You are the light of the world. We are the light of the world.
Before you begin to cry “blasphemy” and “heresy”, or ask “Who does he think he is?” I invite you to turn in your Bible to Matthew 5: 14 and read it very carefully where Jesus said to his followers: “You are the light of the world.” Of whom is Jesus speaking when he proclaims “You are the light of the world?” His followers. His disciples. You. Me. Yes, you and I are the light of the world. Are you offended? Do you hasten to read into Jesus’ simple statement something to explain it away? If so, you need a deep work of Holy Spirit done in your life to teach you the basic truth of this simple statement of Jesus’. I had been a twice-born follower of Jesus for almost 18 years before the raw and awesome truth of that simple statement took root in my heart and mind.
If it hasn’t happened to you yet, when Holy Spirit really begins to reveal to you the simple truth of this verse, an entirely new universe of God’s purposes for humankind—for you—will unfold in your spirit and mind. You will begin to see and acknowledge before God a new humility in the face of his awesome purposes for the creation, redemption, restoration, and reconciliation of the universe. Do not shy away from nor let anyone rob you of the simple truth that you are the light of the world.
A simple fact must be understood and then you will see how it is so that you are the light of the world. Only that part of you which is the direct outraying of God’s own nature is involved when it is said that you are the light of the world. Only your spirit is involved at this point in time, as we read in Proverbs 20: 27 that the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord. Now, it is the spiritual part of your being which is the light of the world. After you are resurrected from among the dead, then the whole person, body and soul, as well as spirit, will be the light of the world.
We now turn to a very brief survey of the Bible to better establish the fact that you are the light of the world. What did Jesus say about this, besides his profound statement in Matthew 5: 14? Have you let that statement sink in yet? Is Holy Spirit even this very moment planting that truth deeper in your heart? Do you believe it? It cannot be explained away . . . No, the original language of the Bible does not say something else.
Do not say, “Yes, but . . . ” Simply believe it; it is a basic truth necessary for the unfolding of God’s entire purpose for this world, for this age, for the ages to come, for eternity. At this point we would like for you to stop and read the following biblical references before continuing on with your study of this teaching; do not go on with this teaching until you have read and meditated upon these verses: John 12: 35 and 36, 46; Ephesians 5: 18.
As we are filled with light, we become children of the light, and Jesus, the self-sustaining light of the world, shines out through us so that we become lights to the nations to bring salvation to the entire earth. See Acts 13: 47. Are you even now allowing God to do whatever deep work in you that is necessary for you to be the means of bringing his Good News to the entire earth? Will you be displayed to the entire creation as one of God’s children? See Romans 8.
I now urge you to read Romans 13: 12 and 13. Here we read that we are to put on armor of light. Please compare this passage in Romans with Ephesians 6: 10-18. The armor of light is simply to put on—to be clothed with—Jesus as we are commanded to do elsewhere in the Bible. Ephesians 5: 8 and 9 and I Thessalonians 5: 5 teach us that we are light in the Lord and as such we are to walk as children of light, the effect being that we will radiate goodness, righteousness, and truth.
Note in Philippians 2: 15 that we are bright lights in the sense that we are guiding stars or beacons shining in a dark world; the terms guiding stars and beacons are nautical terms in the sense that a ship’s captain would use a guiding star to fix a position and follow a beacon such as a lighthouse beacon shining out from a treacherous and perilous shore on a dark and stormy night.
All we have done for the last few paragraphs is simply to let you see for yourself that the Bible plainly teaches we are lights in this world—in this present age. When the Bible teaches that, it not only refers to light in the sense of spiritual illumination but also in the sense of natural, physical light that is even now resident within our beings—in our spirits—hidden by the veil of flesh, waiting to burst forth from our new light-bodies we shall receive when our personal resurrections are completed.
Even though veiled by flesh, the light is there, nonetheless, flickering, slowly increasing in intensity and in radiated output. We have only the earnest—the downpayment—now, but the earnest is but a foretaste of that body we shall one day surely have—a body like unto Adam’s; yet, even more like Jesus’ own glorified body which far surpasses Adam’s even as the brilliance of the noonday sun far surpasses the reflected splendor of the moon.
At this point in our teaching I urge you to put the teaching down and meditate very carefully upon Proverbs 4: 18 and 19. In the context of what we are just now studying, Holy Spirit will open your eyes to see some deep and wonderful truths in these verses. Isaiah 9: 2 tells us that great light will shine upon those who walk in darkness and the shadow of death. What causes a shadow to disappear? When the source of light is directly above the object casting the shadow; this, we believe, signifies our being directly “above” or “taking dominion and authority” over the last enemy to be destroyed, even Death.
Once again because I feel that the Bible itself—without any human intervention or comment—afford the clearest teaching on a particular subject, I urge you to read the following verses in their entirety, simply allowing Holy Spirit to teach you the truths therein. These passages are speaking about you and to you: Isaiah 60: 1-3; Ephesians 6: 12 and 13; 2 Peter 1: 19; and 1 John 2: 8 and 11.
Ages Yet To Come Before the Eternal State of Being
At this point it is pertinent to discuss briefly the basic biblical teaching about the ages to come since there is so little understanding among God’s people about the successive, overlapping ages of time. There are “spiritual ages,” so to speak, (sometimes called salvific ages)—ages that transcend time and space. And then there are chronological ages of time. The chronological ages of time continue to roll on—and will continue to do so until the ends of those ages . . . when time shall end and cease to be.
Many people see this age in which we live as being the final age of the chronological ages of time—which will eventually be swallowed up into eternity. My own view is that there may be many ages of chronological time yet before creation is swallowed up by the state of being called Eternity. I am not dogmatic about my view and remain open to additional light and understanding.
During these successive and overlapping ages, the children of God—arrayed in glorious light-bodies as was Adam before his fall and Jesus as seen in Revelation 1—will be playing active, co-creative roles in restoring, rebuilding, and replenishing the earth and universe prior to the advent and onset of eternity at the end of the ages of time.
How shall this restoration and rebuilding of the universe take place? The simplest explanation we can furnish is to look at the action and effects of light in the natural and physical realm. And as restoration by the action of light occurs in the natural universe, so simultaneously will restoration occur in the micro-universe within the minds and spirits and bodies of fallen mankind—by direct reaction to the light of the children of God shining upon them.
The Marvelous Process Of Photosynthesis
How does light “create” life in the physical realm? By the simple, yet so very complex, chemical process of photosynthesis to which we have already referred. Throughout the ages of time and then in eternity until the entire universe is restored and reconciled to God–including all humanity–his children, outraying God’s life-giving light from within, will be the indirect sources of life for the entire micro- and macro-universe, for all that is natural, for all that is spiritual.
Of course, we only see dimly the “how” of such matters, but as Adam was to have complete dominion over the earth, so shall we have co-dominion over the universe, sharing it all with Jesus. As Jesus is, so we shall be . . . in a sense; yet, he is always the infinite God, while we will always be finite created beings. He is the One by whom and in whom all things are and were created, and the One by whom all things consist; we, as members of His Body, will share in that continual creation and sustenance of the entire universe.
By a process of both physical and spiritual photosynthesis, our glorified light bodies will literally bathe the universe and all created things everywhere in the warm elysian sunlight of Father God’s loving and tender care for His creation.
In passing, too, we must note that the process of photosynthesis is not only any action of “creation” but also a process which brings healing and cleansing. Regarding this matter of healing and cleansing, I urge you to look up and seriously meditate upon and ponder the following references: Isaiah 58: 10, Daniel 12: 3, and Daniel 5: 11. We shall also be directly involved in the divine government of the universe by being those through whom God delegates his authority and through whom he will govern the universe in righteousness.
Justice shall at last prevail in all the affairs of all humanity. There will be honest and humane laws and “courts” of law, presided over by those who have God’s laws as part of their very own nature. And, yet, there will be judgment upon the sins of men until all sin and wrongdoing is at last eradicated from the universe. Regarding this matter of future government and judgment, I urge you to turn to your own Bible and ponder the following references; I give them for you to look up without comment on my part because there are some matters that simply cannot be further expanded upon by human comment: Psalm 90: 8, Isaiah 51 :4, Daniel 12: 3, and Hosea 6: 5.
The Glorious City Of God
The “seat” of God’s government (be it literal or spiritual, or both) will be that glorious “city” we see in Revelation 21: 23-25 and 22: 5. Note the presence of the light of God in this marvelous city of God. It is a city, yet it is a living organism composed of the saints of all the ages. Consider the effects of photosynthesis by which the tree of life (whom we are) will dispense life, health, and healing to the world. There shall be no night there, for the entire universe will at last be bathed in the glorious sunlight of God’s love.
I conclude this study of light and darkness by simply stating: Through God’s redeemed children who will be fully restored into the image of Jesus, a day is coming when the entire universe will have found rest at last and will be bathed and sustained in the reflected light of Father God radiating from his children throughout the eternal realm. All creation will be bathed in the life-giving light of Father God flowing out through his children to the infinite vastness of the universe and of eternity. Jesus—THE Light—will be at the precise center of all, but there will be no circumference.
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Revised and Updated May 2021