In the light of all kinds of Gentile Christianity today, turn with me into the Bible and let us allow the word of God to present a picture of something and secondly let us closely examine that picture, not as so many people do today who try to interpret something out of scripture strictly on the basis of what they see going on in the religious world today. No, you don’t interpret the Bible in the light of what you see going on! You do , just the opposite-you interpret what you see going on by the Bible to know whether it is correct or not. There is no other way you will ever get your feet on solid ground! Continually we hear people say. Oh but God did this or God did that! To them that alone, proves the movement and whatever is going on must be of God! I don’t doubt for a moment that God in his love has not done such and such. All that may be entirely true, but beloved understand this one thing, simply because God did such and such doesn’t mean by the sheerest stretch of the imagination that what these people are doing or teaching is correct! Please don’t misunderstand, I don’t mean to imply that God’s blessing in that particular thing is not right but the question you need to ask yourself concerning the matter is the ef-fects it will have when it is culminated. We must recognize this one thing, in the end of this Gentile grace dispensation, all true born again believers will have to be brought back to the revelation of this word of God! Any blessing of God is to serve that one purpose only, TO RETURN US TO THE WORD OF TRUTH! Ask yourself, this which you feel to be of God, is it leading people back to the Word of God or away from it! Does it uphold Bible doctrine or loose living?
Had mankind followed God through the ages, allowing him to lead them in the light of this Bible, by no means could you possibly have as many interpretations of the scripture as we have today it this religious world, seeing in the beginning there was only one ling of thought and all who followed the way of truth and the light, follower this one line of thought, not many Take for instance your schools of natural learning and learn an important lesson from them. Had man applied such a knowledge to follow the same principles in the gospel terms as he has in his arithmetic he would know that wherever you go and whatever language is spoken, 2 + 2 is always 4. It matters not if it is German, English, Danish, Russian or Spanish. 2 + 2 is always 4! Never will you find it to be 5 or 6, but ALWAYS 4. Why? Because it is a common basic principle for the natural understanding of Arithmetic. And I repeat, if that same principle had been adopted or that same attitude had been applied over in the gospel realm of our understanding, there would not be all these many views, interpretations etc., of the scripture as seen today, produced by so-called Christians in this Gentile religious world. So-called Christians who more or less cater to the flesh of the people in that of traditions, ideas, doctrines, dogmas and creeds of men rather than yielding to the spiritual doctrines and teachings of the holy scripture. Man is simply guilty of not remaining with the Word of God, which truly began some 1900 years ago, as one interpretation or one line of thought of the scripture.
That one interpretation was presented by one group of men who were apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here at the end of this Gentile grace age, some 1900 years later, we see every kind of interpretation imaginable. Sure God has blessed various people, here and there, in such and such a belief. Nevertheless by no means does that necessarily mean, as people want to interpret it to mean, that whatever they are in is all together correct according to the scripture. No! It only shows that God is merciful, that God can be merciful and bless people. No one can say that Babylon was God’s chosen place for the Jews to dwell, nevertheless because they had gotten out of God’s will and been taken from Israel, in God’s chastening he sent them to Babylon. When he did speak to hearts some 70 years later, in order to return them to Israel, do you realize there were still a great percentage who wanted to remain in Babylon! Doesn’t that remind you of this day and hour of spiritual Babylon and what God has been trying to do in order to free many from the bondage of Babylon? Isn’t it strange how man always is more prone to take or accept the easy route which pleases his flesh!!
Part I — GOD’S THOUGHT MANIFESTED
Never has there been a man who walks the face of this earth, whether he be prophet or apostle, who could ever take the place of this man called Jesus of Nazareth. All true godly men (namely the’ prophets) prior to Christ’s appearance were nothing more than mere reflections of that one great anointing and character of this one person called the Lord Jesus Christ. On the other hand, every man since that hour, as he looks back to Calvary, back to that period of time when that perfect man Christ was on earth, all those men also were merely reflections of that one great person and character. Who was this man of mystery, called Jesus the Christ? Turn with me to John 1:1 where we shall begin a biblical study to determine just what all Christ was to mankind. “In the beginning was the word”… Here we must realize when God speaks of the word being in the beginning, he is not referring to the written word whatsoever, seeing in the hour of the beginning there was no book written! There was no such thing as having those ve.rini words exprassoca an paper or some mechanical means ser-ving as a vehicle to convey the written word to mankind. No, this is not what John has in mind at all when he states in the beginning was the word.
THOUGHT BECOMES WORD EXPRESSED
Therefore as we examine John’s term, the LOGOS or the word which was in the beginning with God and also was God, what is John actually saying by using WORD. He is simply saying, in the beginning was God’s thought and once that thought of God was ex-pressed it then became the word of God! Therefore somewhere in the beginning was the word which later became flesh to dwell among us. For a moment please forget all the ideas and opinions you have heard in the past by various believers expressing their honest desire to explain the Godhead and always winding up with three separate persons as it may appear to be looking at it from a carnal standpoint of the scripture. However I ask you a simple question, did John say that in the beginning there were three separate persons as he begins to explain to the church who Jesus was in John 1:1. Absolutely not! John says, in the beginning was the word (not three persons) which simply means in the beginning was God, an omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent spirit with his thought—thoughts I remind you, when spoken then becomes the word and it was this living eternal lifegiving spoken word of God which according to John later becomes flesh and dwells among us. However we at the moment are not looking, at the time the word became flesh. We are only examining what was in the beginning with God or Elohim, the all sufficient one.
GOD WITH HIS THOUGHTS
Therefore back there in the beginning was with his thoughts and it is only the Bible I
4 that shows us what this spirit being was thinking about before the foundation of the world, before even an angel was created, before ever a planet appeared or a star was hung in space. God is spirit! (John 4:24) However for this spirit being to ever be a God there had to be something created which could offer him worship and praise seeing that is what the word “God” means–an object of worship! He, as this lifegiving spirit had to have the ability to be able to think, did he not? Why would anyone desire to make the spoken word of God which later became Jesus the Christ some second or another person separate and distinct from God the Eternal Holy Spirit who is the father of all creation, once something was created! You see beloved your word is to you what God’s word is to him and nobody ever tried to make your word a second person separate from you, do they? Certainly not ! Your word is to you what God’s word is to him–it is your thoughts expressed and your thoughts are expressed HOW—by your word, is it not? Truly I must have a certain amount of thought in order to be able to e-xpress with my lips certain verbal words, phrases and statements in order that you may understand my thought!
GOD DEEP IN THOUGHT
With this in mind, let us continue–as John says, in the beginning was the word who I remind you at this point John does not call the son but only as the word! Therefore we must recognize God who has always been an eternal spirit having neither a beginning nor ending as he is seen in v-1 deep in thought. Always remember the process or the realm of any active thought, whether God or man, must always dwell in the realm of life or must dwell where life is, seeing anything dead in the sense of physical flesh lying cold and stiff can by no means think! No, there is no communication with a dead corpse but God is alive. Furthermore, God IS LIFE and within him there is living and creative thought. Therefore God thought! Before God ever said through his word, LET THERE BE… as we are shown in Genesis 1 and 2, long before that period arose where anything was ever created by the spoken word of God, this God, as he meditated thought, and his thoughts became or is expressed in the form of his spoken word which is seen here in the beginning to be with the spirit called God, once his word had created something which could offer him worship. I trust you see that once God’s thoughts there in his mind were expressed his thoughts immediately took on the form of his ‘spoken word and thus God places his thoughts into action and once God’s thoughts were openly ex-pressed or spoken, they became his creative word! That is why in the book of Hebrews the writer tells us in Heb. 11:3 through faith or revelation we are able to understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
CREATED BY SPOKEN WORD
Gen 1:1 says also in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. How did God perform all this? David the psalmist tells us in Psm. 33:6 By the word of the Lord (Lord God’s word) were the heavens made and all the hosts of them (How) by the breath of his mouth. Verse 9 says, he spake spake what – the word) and it was done, he commanded and it stood fast. While Psm. 33:4 declares, for the word of the Lord is right and all of his works are done in truth. And out of the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established. Thus the written word of God informs us that all things were created by this eternal Spirit, Elohim who is the all sufficient one, (HOW?) through his spoken word once he had released his word…LET THERE BE… and there was! And I hope you can grasp the fact, that which God spoke called his word which was his thoughts expressed is the very thing which one day became flesh and that flesh person was called the Son of God on earth. Whereupon being born through the Virgin Mary, the word immediately was worshipped now as a fleshly baby boy the Son of God–by all the angels of glory! Heb. 1:6 Thus John, in order to tell us who Jesus was, began by saying, “In the beginning was the Word (before the beginning it was merely God with his holy thoughts. True, he was thinking about something he was going to do. Once the thoughts were expressed they became his word which was with God in the beginning. Remember, you cannot separate a man’s thoughts from his person nor can you separate God’s thoughts from his very being—they are strictly me and the selfsame source!
THINKING CREATES THOUGHTS
A man’s thoughts begin with himself thinking. Thinking creates thoughts. Before they are formed into thoughts they are merely attributes of his being, are they aot? They are original with him. Remember, if I am only relying upon what someone else spoke with their word, that is not my word! I am merely passing on something I have heard, something which is someone else’s thought. However if it is my word, then it came from my thought or if it is your word then it is your thought which produced it. It originated with you. Therefore can’t you see when John tells us the word (LOGOS) or the thought was with God, then naturally that thought which originated in himself and is a part of him, was GOD ALSO! NO, the Word was not something separate and distinct from God himself. You can no more separate the Spirit called God from his thought which, once expressed, became his Word anymore than you can separate yourself from your own original thoughts or word! In this article we desire to discuss what the thought and Word of God was to mankind once it had come to earth being made flesh from the womb of woman (Gal. 4:4) to dwell among us, taking on God’s redemptive name, Jesus who was both Lord and Christ, Beloved, there was never a man who lived before nor after him who could take his place. This man made statements no other human could possibly make, such as I AM THE WAY, TRUTH AND LIFE; I AM THE DOOR; I AM THE SHEPHERD; I AM THE LIGHT…! No other human being who ever lived could make such statements, statements which we desire to look into and by the help of God to see more so what all this word was in its true relation with God and mankind. WORD POSITION IN GLORY “The same was in the beginning with God…” No, he wasn’t there as a fleshly person, then what was he in the beginning when he, THE WORD, was with God before ever being made flesh! What position, what glory did he hold that we hear him asking to be restored to–which he had in the beginning, Jn 17:5? The Word now made flesh is praying in the Garden with his chosen disciples who shall be left to carry on the work of the Lord! In the Garden we hear him praying as he finishes his earthly journey, asking the Father to glorify the Son whom he has sent (Gal. 4:4) declaring he has finished the work given to him, asking the Father to now glorify him with thine own self, with the glory which I had BEFORE THE WORLD WAS! Immediately upon seeing Jesus’ statement ‘glorify thou me with the glory which I had before the world was,’ someone says, look, this proves Jesus was in the beginning with God the Father. Of course it does, however, the Bible does not teach he was there as a second person! John declares he was there as the spoken Word which created all things! This is the glory he was in the beginning.
THINKING OF UNIVERSAL PLAN
“The same was in the beginning with God…” John 1:2. The same WHAT-was in the beginning with God? The same thought which later became the SPOKEN WORD! This scripture verifies what many other scriptures declare–the fact that through God’s own thoughts or thinking he was laying out in his mind a plan which he was about to carry out. This plan is seen through his mind’s eye therefore all of his works, as far knowing what he was going to do and how it would all eventually come out was known before the foundation of the world and not simply a day by day occurrence as some people seem to think. The scripture teaches that all of God’s work, in his mind of thought (seeing how it would all come out) was finished (not begun) before the foundation of the world! It was his own thoughts which later became his SPOKEN WORD which assisted him in his great plan for the universe. All this John is speaking of simply means God had already thought his entire program out before his word ever spoke any creation into existence: In other words, in the mind of God his own thoughts had formulated a plan of creation and that plan definitely came before the foundation of the world, some time before the creative word began speaking things into existence.
COUNSELLED WITH OWN WILL
Therefore since God thought all of his plan out before speaking anything into existence, here we see Paul declaring to the Ephesian Church, the model church of the first Gentile age, how God having made known unto us (the church) the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he had purposed within himself (in the beginning) who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will! Our statement is taken from Eph. 1:9-11 and came from verse 9 as well as B part of verse 11 which shows God counselled with himself before the beginning. Notice, he counselled with himself, not two other persons as has often been implied! When a man counsels with himself what does he do—he meditates. And while he meditates what is going on in his mind. He is exercising his ability to weigh out certain ideas, phases and conditions within his own sovereign mind of thought and upon the basis of what his thoughts are he is able to calculate and come to a decision on what he will act upon. Take for instance a man desiring to build a house. Either he will use someone else’s blueprints and plans or will draw some up for himself. I have never known a man who built anything which amounted to a dime to begin with no idea or thought whatsoever in mind as to what he was doing or what his object to be built would look like. Somewhere there has to be some calculation or blueprint as to what the thing is to resemble that is to be built. Do you realize a man who sits down and meditates within himself, drawing lines on paper etc., doing this or that, looking it over— in actuality he is looking at his own thoughts drawn out on paper, isn’t he? Therefore as he drives his nails, cuts his lumber, applies this and that according to his blueprint, what is he doing–he is now putting his own thoughts into action, just as God was doing before the beginning when he, too, counselled with his ownself or laid out his own blueprint. Already in his mind he knows what it will look like. Man can see that by looking at his blueprint or layout sheet. In his mind he can visualize what this thing will look like once it is put together.
ACCORDING TO FOREKNOWLEDGE
Therefore when we are speaking about the word, we are actually talking about God’s thoughts being spoken and since it is his thoughts, they originate with God therefore it is God. If Goa couldn’t think, he wouldn’t be God. Thus since he is God, the all sufficient Eternal One, his thoughts would then be the /highest source of- thinking in the entire universe. Realizing God is perfect and holy, then God’s perfect holy thoughts would certainly have to be the very beginning of all or any thought. Thus irregardless to what kind of perplexing mess all this world may seem to get into from beginning to end, we know, because God thought it all out, that everything will come out alright in the end. Why? Because the program of God has been laid out by a mastermind and thought out before the beginning of anything transpired. Because of his foreknowledge, God was able to go ahead and choose every individual who would make up the body of Christ even before the foundation of the world, adopting us as children of God through the knowledge of predestination by Jesus Christ (the word made flesh) unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his own will.
SATISFYING HIS PLEASURE
Note Paul shows us that all things which have been done, were done according to the manner God thought it all out before the foundation of the world and that is the results we are seeing in John 1:1-14. And recall, it was all done to satisfy his own good pleasure. The same (meaning his thoughts) was in the beginning with God hence John could say in verse 3, all things were made by him, the Word, and without him was not anything made that was made (the creative word which was before that, God’s thoughts) and without his thought or word was not anything made that w Verse 4 declares, in him was life or in the spoken word was life and the life was the light of men. The light shined in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not. God’s own thoughts is his own ability to choose and place his life in various things. Keep in mind what we are discussing all the way through is God’s spoken word of life. And we are discovering through that spoken word of life that all things which are, were made by that spoken word which later became flesh.
WORD ACCEPTS NEW ROLE
Here in our message I want you to note that long after all this was accomplished by the spoken word of God, we are now about to witness the word in its greatest role take on a different shape. This time the shape of a man, but still not a second person as the word is now made flesh to dwell among us. Who has John declared, dwelt among us? John says it was the spoken word. Placing that into a more understandable phrase of thought we will simply say, and the thought of God was made human flesh! ( All about God that man could not comprehend or see in prior ages because of his little frail human mind and lack of understanding, when man saw Jesus Christ of Nazareth he was literally seeing God’s thought expressed in a human form.
Part 2 — EXAMINING CERTAIN STATEMENTS
Here we want to pause and bring up some statements made by this one God’s thoughts or word ex-pressed in human form. as we begin dealing with various phases of Jesus’ life and what he is. We want to examine statements Jesus made such as I AM THE WAY! I AM THE DOOR! Seeing no other man before nor after him could make such a statement what does he mean by such a statement—I AM THE WAY, FOLLOW ME? Sure many throughout history could say follow me as I, as according to Paul, follow someone else. Follow me, Paul says, as I follow Christ. Therefore I repeat, no man before Christ’s day nor since Christ’s day has truthfully been able to say, I AM THE WAY, FOLLOW ME or follow me because I AM THE WAY or I AM THE DOOR or follow me because I AM THE TRUTH ! Many men have had the truth, yet no one could personally say I AM THE TRUTH as he boldly and openly declared to be( No man before nor since could say I AM THE LIGHT! Man has no spiritual light unless it comes from him. FOLLOWING FLESHLY IMAGE Bearing all this in mind, of whom we are to follow, let us return to our subject or thought of God even-tually being made flesh, John 1:14 in order to show what people are more prone to follow in these days. Recall Jesus said I am the way, follow me. Though many did start on the true path to follow Christ, the reason we have so much confusion in this Gentile Christianity today is because somewhere along the way man lost his true spiritual sight of the one he started out to follow, who was Jesus the Christ, thus it simply falls mankind’s makeup that if he doesn’t walk softly before God and keep the revelation of God’s pure unadulterated word in its true spiritual perspective, sooner or later Gentile mankind will begin to follow human flesh more than he does the word and spirit of God. Once this happens man will do his utter most to bring Almighty God as spirit and God in the terms of his word down to his own level of thinking and there proceed through all his human efforts to build something for God around his own carnal understanding. People are prone to follow human flesh and so often do it in ignorance as to actually what the man used of God did teach, and declare they follow his revelation about like the people in Jesus’ day who continually referred to themselves as followers of Moses.
JEWS FOLLOWED MOSES
What more perfect example of people declaring to have followed a human being yet never grasping his revelation on the word could he more clearly shown than the people Jesus was continually confronted with in his day. For 1400 years the Jews followed an historical figure named Moses. In the back of their minds was that memory which had been passed on from generation to generation.
From memory, history and verbal accounts, those Jews were well aware of what transpired at Sinai–how God took a lone figure into the mountains and 40 days later gave him the Ten Commandments, etc. An event which left such a profound impression upon the Jewish race as they proceeded from the foot of Mt. Sinai through their wilderness journey and years later passing over into the Promise Land, each consecutive generation which followed, like people with eyes in the back of their head, continually looked back to that dramatic spot in history. An episode which left such a profound impression upon their spiritual mentality that still 1400 years later their continual looking back is clearly shown in Christ’s day through the fact that the Jews were either reminding Christ they did not need to follow him seeing they had either Abraham or Moses as their father and they followed them! Continually this phrase was thrown at Christ–Rabbi we hear Moses… I remind you very few of them, though they did declare to follow Moses, had the slightest idea concerning the true revelation that Moses delivered! How pathetic to see men who are always declaring (in order to avoid the main issue at hand) we have this person to follow or we do this or that, when truthfully they don’t even observe or keep a portion of the things in their heart which this particular personality used of God even taught! Yet all the time declaring, we follow so and so!
LIVING ON MAN’S VIRTUE
That is like approaching some religious denominational person and saying, are you a Christian? 0 yes, we follow the Methodist, we belong to such a church; we have so many in attendance; we have this and we have that. We were founded so many years ago. In reality what are they doing–they too are looking back! Because what they are trying to do is live on the virtue of man’s influence–John Wesley–. We recognize in John Wesley’s day, according to the light that God invested in him, not only was he the messenger to the Philadelphia church age but he also definitely. reflected Jesus Christ. True, Wesley reflected Christ in a greater role than anyone prior to him throughout any part of the Dark Ages up through that portion of the Reformation! John Wesley reflected more of Christ in humility, meekness and Christlike attitude than either Luther, Calvin or Knox or any other man before him. Therefore no one could declare that in John Wesley’s hour there was not a true reflection of Christ in a character of holiness, a nature of humility and meekness and gentleness which was portrayed in the life of John Wesley before that of his followers. See beloved, this was the basis and real thesis of God’s revelation back in that hour of the Reformation. However, watch what happened!
While some saw Jesus reflected they immediately caught a glimpse of Christ in the life of the man, while, sorry to say, as always happens every revival produces twins (belief and unbelief), and the rest of the followers end up following only the influence of the’ flesh of the man thus never venturing any further in truth than what this man had declared in his hour! That is exactly what men will then build around and harness (only the influence of the flesh). And that continues on perhaps 50 to maybe 100 years growing more stagnated with each passing generation as they refuse to move on in God, and walk in the light as more light is shined on their path-way. Instead they continually looked back like the Jews did to Mt. Sinai, who declared before Christ they were followers of Moses. 0, don’t you see it—had they been true followers of Moses, that is following the revelation of Moses, they would have known the one who stood before them was none other than the great prophet likened unto himself who Moses always spoke would come (Deut. 18:15, 18) to Israel to lead the people. People always build their entire Christian life around something that has been, while the true reflection of Christ continues to move on.
Just as the sun is always the same and never loses its ability to be light although, at times the atmospheric conditions may develop between the sun and the earth and for a time it appears to hinder the people from actually seeing the reflection of its light. Beloved, when you take a good look at Jesus Christ, I mean a good look according to the revelation of the word presented to us, what do we actually see him to be according to the Bible? He is none other than the unadulterated thoughts of God expressed in the form of human flesh! Walking the face of this earth, he at no time sought to please the religionists of his day.
PHARISEES STANDARDS SLIGHTLY HIGHER
Christ faced more heartache with religionists than he did with all the drunkards, harlots and ill famed people of that hour—Those people, who on one occasion Christ told the religious Jews would enter Into the kingdom (harlots and publicans) before they did (religionists of his hour). Those types of people were social outcasts in the eyes of the religious order of their hour, looked upon as misfits to society. In a moral term and from the stand point of the law they truly were, yet we recognize also that the religionists of that day were living themselves far below the spiritual thermometer of what God demanded or wanted and had used through the age of the law, to the extent that even the religionist of that hour was looked upon by the Almighty God as living a standard only slightly higher than the poor publican who walked the street! Undoubtedly this is why it seems so often that Jesus actually showed more favor toward the publican than he did the religious pharisee who would always push out his chest, rear back and declare he could thank God that he didn’t do certain things however when it came time for the poor sinner to speak, the poor troublesome publican who was looked upon as an outcast of that religious society could always be seen in the presence of God as declaring himself to be a sinner saying God be merciful to me a sinner, (Lk. 18:13). Recall Jesus said that the sinner, the publican by Jewish religious standards went home more justified than the bragging Pharisee who by his standards, needed no repentance when in the sight of God his standard was only slightly higher than the publican who needed repentance and always declared himself to be a sinner!
CHRIST IS EVERYTHING
Beloved we are building up our thought to this extent that as we take a good look at Jesus Christ, seeing who and what he was, that we may never forget, whether a man be a religionist or a rank sinner, Christ is everything that poor mankind in his fallen state could never be unless somewhere first God did something for him in his fallen state! Furthermore since all humans prior to the coming of Christ could never actually con-ceive in their minds what God was like in his character form and in order that they might know how God wanted man to live, act and talk, God actually took it upon himself to fulfill that necessary role to show mankind what he expected.
SEEING CHRIST TWO WAYS
Thus the Word became flesh and dwelt among men approximately 331/2 years. Down from his glory he came to earth and displayed his nature, his character as well as every attribute of. his own personality or, shall we say, displayed to mankind things concerning God which mankind up until that hour had never seen! All this was accomplished through the fleshly man Jesus Christ. Therefore all Jesus Christ was, is God’s thoughts placed in a visible manifested fleshly form on display whereby man could see him and as man saw Christ there was two ways one might look upon him. If your spiritual mind had not been illuminated by the spirit dwelling in Christ the Father, the Holy Ghost, you would see him only as just another Jewish man. Had you been a child growing up in Nazareth with him you could have easily played in a mudhole together or perhaps you might have eaten a honey and butter sandwich together. Your faces could have become dirty while playing together in the street. And no doubt you would never have envisioned with whom you were playing. Yet, could you have kept your mind alert, every once in a while through play etc., you would have noticed there would have been certain things you, because of your fallen nature, would want to do; this little boy would not want to do. There was definitely a strangeness about the little lad which would make him noticeable as somewhat different from other children. While other little boys would want to throw rocks usually resulting in broken windowlights, perhaps not purposely, but you know how it is when they have to exercise and throw things what usually happens! But with Jesus you wouldn’t see him as a lad wasting energy foolishly such as children today who get all hepped up having a lot of stored up energy that must be turned loose.
CHRIST AGE 12
At the age of 12 his parents took him to Jerusalem. After having fulfilled their time at the feast, they began to journey toward home in Nazareth. Out of Jerusalem a little ways nightfall slowly begins to overtake them, they, thinking Jesus was somewhere in the caravan of those returning home, began to inquire to his wherabouts. Realizing no one had seen him and he wasn’t among relatives they became worried and returned to Jersualem, only to find this little 12 year old boy, not in Sunday School but in the temple talking to whom — not the Sunday School superintendent but instead to the doctors of divinity, lawyers, priests, etc., hearing them and discussing certain questions with them. It was all the doctors of divinity and big shots of the ecclesiastical realm of that hour and there stood Jesus as a 12 year old lad in their midst taking in every word they said, yet was not learning anything from them because he didn’t walk away that day saying, boy I have really met one smart bunch of men. No, instead the religionist declared as the lad left the circle, how is it he, being only 12, knows so much! They were far more taken in with his wisdom and the questions he asked them and the answers he gave–there had to be something different about this child from other children. Yes, most assuredly there was something different about this little fellow named Jesus who grew up in life, however, in order to see that difference one would need the Holy Ghost to illuminate their minds and reveal this difference because as the revelated word shows us he was not an ordinary child, born to sinful parents like all other children, having inherited the Adamic nature. No, instead he was the thought of God who, according to John, was back there in the beginning with God as the spoken word which came from the breath of the mouth of God once God spoke and later became flesh to dwell among us and was destined to become something to humanity in the fact, as he said I AM THE WAY, FOLLOW ME, he would show lost mankind the only route back to God!
Finally the day came Christ, having passed out of his childhood, passing out of his 20’s, nearing the age of 30 appears at the River of Jordan for baptism to begin his ministry. Reading John’s statement “in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God”…what is John really saying—he is talking about God’s thought and how this original thought came down from glory to be the light of men and is declared in John 1:14 to have been made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory. What glory is John speaking of that the revelated ones of that hour beheld? It is none other than God’s glory! When John used this term…we beheld his glory…I would like to say John wasn’t necessarily saying that in beholding his glory, O Praise God we saw a great big light about him all the time! Such things are truly supernatural, however this is not the term John is trying to convey because man can see lights and still miss God! But beloved when John and the other revelated disciples beheld his glory as the only begotten of the father, they saw something living and alive. They witnessed something that had been spoken and saw something acted upon from God, expressed to the fallen human race that definitely let them know there had never been a man to walk the face of the earth like this man. Because of that, the spiritual minded Jew could perceive in his spiritual mind something which illuminated his soul, though his natural eyes may have never seen anything such as a supernatural light or halo. Don’t misunderstand me, halos and such things have their place. However that is not what John is discussing here when he declared and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John is saying, as we begin to watch this man fulfill his role to lost mankind, he displayed before us such a character, that when this man spoke a word, statement or comment we knew it definitely wasn’t something from the traditions of the fathers. Instead what we saw and heard was going to formulate the very essence and the origin of God’s thoughts around which mankind will build his thoughts and life for ages to come! Whatever he spoke he would always declare these words spoken are spirit and they are life! In other words there were no foolish phrases, not words giving two sides to a story as if to say one thing one day and something else contrary another day. By no means, every word that we see recorded of his, behind it somewhere is its origination and expression of God’s mind before mankind.
THE LIGHT OF MEN
Look still deeper into this man’s ministry as it proceeds forth, and we hear him declaring in John 3:19 something no other man could ever say. No other man could point to himself and declare he was the light! This is the condemnation, that light has come into the world and men love darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil! For everyone that doeth evil hates the light. neither comes to the light lest his deeds be reproved but he that doeth truth (walks in truth) comes to the light that his deeds may be made manifest: that they are wrought in God.” This is only the first of many statements we will examine that this man alone, as no other person, could make. This is (or I am ) the light that came into the world, Jesus said. No, this light which came into the world is by no means to be looked upon as a natural light, while it is true men cannot see to walk. By all means we must have that natural light to walk in the earth to give light and life, etc. However without spiritual light man in this darkened religious world does not know how to walk either and you know without light being present, in the natural as well as spiritual, there are many things under the cover of darkness that man can do which is never seen. Why? Because in the dark a man could steal and no one could ever see him. Practically all wrong and mischievousness goes on under the cover of darkness. A man desiring to destroy something, 9 times out of 10 when does he choose to do it–in the dark naturally. He doesn’t want to be seen, light will always expose his actions. If anyone is present he is bound to be seen concerning the actions he is carrying out. Therefore from a spiritual sense of light, John is writing here concerning Christ and declares-“and this is the judgment (condemnation), that light came into the world and men loved darkness rather than light. Light, spiritually, will also expose man’s actions religiously.
CLOAK TO HIDE BEHIND
Picture in this Gentile religious world if you will, all kinds of religion (works by darkness) propogating some kind of teaching about Jesus Christ. However, sad to say it is not according to the light of revealed scriptures. It is strictly according to darkened tradition, man made inherited ideas. In other words, no doubt the individual has heard about the light and is trying to take a little portion of that light and build himself something he may use for a cloak to hide behind or walk in in order to pacify and gratify his own carnal spirit. This is exactly why one person is a Jehovah witness, another a Seven Day Adventist or Mormon, while another is this or that, and you certainly can’t say they are all alike, they aren’t! I don’t point a finger of accusation at one anymore than I would the other. Because it all boils down to this one thing, somebody isn’t walking in the light! If they were walking in the light, the so-called believer wouldn’t be a Mormon, Seven-day Adventist or Jehovah Witness or any of these other names of religious organization.–they would all be following Jesus Christ as he instructed everyone as they saw him revealed in the word. All of these religious movements are what causes people to think somewhere God has changed his mind. However, that is not true. God has not changed his mind because he can not change his word, which is forever settled in heaven. It is man who has changed and tries to make God chance!
Continually this younger generation of today makes statements such as, I am confused. this world is in such a mess! Sure it is a mess and until people gets right with Jesus Christ, it is going to even get worse! The Bible said it would, the Bible never declared this world was going to be a beautiful place in which to live and man is going to be a sweet loving creature to get along with. No the Bible declares in the last days the love of many shall wax cold and iniquity would become worse and worse. Nations would get into turmoil and even the seas and the waves would be roaring. No the Bible does not picture the world, in the last days, as being a beautiful moral, spiritual place for man to live in. Nevertheless, I do say, if you walk in the light as he—is the light, you can surely walk with the peace of God in your life while walking in the light of Jesus Christ.
FIRST GROUP EXPOSED TO LIGHT
And this is the condemnation (judgment), that light has come into this world but men (religiously) love darkness ( c reeds , dogmas and traditions) rather than light. WHY? Because the Bible declares their deeds are evil! Let us examine that first group to ever be exposed to this light who, according to their own testimony, followed the teachings of Moses. For a moment let us turn the light on then. True, the first groups to ever be exposed to this light and ran back into darkness, were the religious groups of Christ’s day called Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots, along with all other kinds of little sectarian groups who were taking a little portion of Moses and going off somewhere in a corner explaining to others their little ideas of Moses’ teaching. Each group thinking they had all the light until Jests came along who was the light of fulfillment in all that Moses, through his teachings, had pointed unto. True. Christ, the SPOKEN WORD made flesh, was the manifestation of all that Moses and the prophets had foretold. He was the light and life of God. Nevertheless, like so many even today, these religious people divided by ideas and opinions of the scriptures, showed by their actions they had not walked in Moses’ revelation. They did not want the life of God which was given to be the life for all mankind. Instead, they were determined to keep their own little ideas. Because of their determination to hold to what tradition and darkness they had, these religious leaders of these various groups caused Christ more trouble than any other group of that day. And did you know if Jesus Christ were to again walk upon this earth in that same fleshly body, he no doubt would have more problems and trouble with the religious leaders of our day than he would with all the vagabonds who walk dark alleys and so forth…
MIRROR REFLECTS LIGHT
Yes, he was the light, he alone could say, I am the light. No other man before or after him could make this claim. Man could only say, I am doing my utmost to walk in that light whereby my life and the things I teach might reflect that great light. For, just remember, however much a man is willing to discipline his own flesh and bring his own ideas in line with the word of God, will determine exactly how much he is going to reflect the real true light. Just as you are able to take a mirror and. by angling it a certain way the mirror will reflect a great amount of light. Or again you may angle it in another direction and reflect no light whatsoever. This is why, in the past, men have been able to send messages by use of a mirror–by reflecting light. Years ago before electronic gadgets, wireless radios were invented, on sunny days the old armies used little square mirrors to send forth signals. In doing so they could send light.
The same way is true today beloved, we too, may send a message of hope or discouragement from the life we live. We too, can cause light to reflect. It is merely whatever position we want to get in, in relationship to Jesus Christ. That full revelated light which Christ is, can reflect against my person, my flesh, my ideas, as well as my belief, in such a manner it may truly reflect out to someone else that they might see, not the mirror, but see what–the light! Just remember no man can be that light. He may serve only by being a reflection of that light. He, as a mirror does, reflects light. Jesus said he alone was the light and this is the condemnation (judgment), that light is come into the world and men love darkness (their own ideas, and religious beliefs) rather than light because their deeds are evil. Jesus was and still is the light of the world! Physically he is not present, although the Holy Ghost which returned at pentecost to exemplify to the church all that Jesus was and could ever be to the human race, most certainly is. Therefore, Christ, is still the light which was to be reflected through the life of men. What is this light for? It’s a light to walk in in order to reveal darkness. Yes, light is to be walked in!
I John 1:7 declares, though not in the manner some people would like to make it sound, that if we walk in the light—light which I remind you is not Pentecostal light, not Presbyterian light, nor Methodist or Baptist light, no by no means is it this kind of light! However seeing the Pentecostal was born in a period of much greater light than even the Baptist or the Methodist, they should definitely have more light to walk in. Yet sorry to say, none of these groups are anywhere near all the light. Mormon light, Jehovah Witness light, Seven-day Adventist light, all declaring they are the light, but what light is it that John is speaking of when he said “If we walk in the light.” No, he didn’t say if we walk the best we can or do the best we can because when we take that attitude we usually wind up in an argument declaring, I don’t see it that way!
It has always been a mystery to me how I could hold up a lighted lantern and ask people to describe it and beloved I would get more of a consistent accurate description of that lighted lantern than I would if I held up the Bible before a multitude of professing Christians and ask them to explain First John 1:7! People would say more ridiculous things from a carnal stand point about that light. what it was etc. Because when they are forced to look at something spiritual and called upon to use their spiritual eyes and spiritual ‘mind to grasp the true picture, there you begin to get all kinds of pictures from them, as to what John meant when he stated “if we as a believer walk in the light—no, he isn’t saying if I walk in my ideas about this true revelated light Jesus, the manifested word but it is if I walk in the light which actually means with the spiritual eye to see Jesus Christ, that is with a spiritual eye to see who he is as well as what he is and see him in every true revelated term this Bible portrays him to be! Not as carnal man through his traditional ideas, creeds and dogmas has portrayed him such as we have
inherited down through the process of time! No man can deny the fact that even the Jehovah Witness, the Seven-day Adventist, the Mormon, the Christian Science, nor any of these other denominational groups do not have a place forJesus in their teachings! However. the question is, can you place all these teachings together and declare they make up the light John spoke of that we should walk in! Absolutely not! There are far too many dark clouds of unbelief and carnality which has mixed itself into whatever little light they may have carried. It is pathetic, you can’t see the light shining through for the clouds! Therefore, can’t you see this Gentile religious world stands guilty of taking the gospel of Jesus Christ (which is the light of men) and through generations of centuries of time has interpreted certain things to fit mankind’s carnal ideas. And to think we have passed these ideas on down to the younger generations who will one day pick up the gospel and carry the torch of truth!
SPIRITUAL BUGS HIDING
What I fear is happening, what they receive from the hands of men-to carry as a torch, is by no means the light John spoke of in which we are to walk! Instead they will only be carrying man made tradition, dogmas, creeds, as well as carnal interpretation of that light. Therefore all this carnal darkness of confusion is what becomes the so-called light which is none other than darkness or clouded impressions of the light they attempt to carry forth and present to the world. However, if they were to somehow pick up the torch light of revelated truth, which Jesus is, and hold that up high whereby the true light would shine in religious darkness you watch every spiritual religious worm and bug run in search for .a dark place to hide from the light in order they might remain in darkness! Watch them spiritually speaking look for some old dark muggy basement where cock roaches and water bugs, along with other kinds of little dark crawling varmints love to hide. If you want to see what would ac-tually happen in this darkened religious world were the true light to shine forth in darkness, sud-denly burst into a dark basement with a powerful light and watch what will happen–bugs of every description who love darkness will be running in every direction in search of a dark area to hide, won’t they? Why? These little creatures simply can’t stand to be exposed to the light and neither can religious teachings and ideas stand to be exposed to light! They simply won’t receive it anymore than that first group would accept it in Christ’s day, when Christ exposed their dark, carnal religious teachings to the light! Beloved I don’t believe you are going to be able to hide in some dark cellar of Babylon forever ! The old cockroach simply won’t live in the attic where it is hot and dry, but he chooses to live in a damp, dark .basement wherein he may place his old whiskers down in some dark sump pump pit or something and there go through a lot of com-motion! See beloved he wants to live down there where if the light is ever turned on, he won’t be caught. He hates light but loves darkness!
PICTURE OF RELIGIOUS DARKNESS
Is this not a picture of the religious world today? You can’t catch them! Turn that spiritual, revelated light on, let the true revelated word of God shine onto their darkened pathway and what do you hear—I can’t see it that way! I am going to hide, I am going back to such and such a church. After all I was raised up there and they sure do have nice people. As if all this darkened carnality was light when it isn’t light! Sure they have all taken a little of that original light and built to it–creeds, ceremonies, ideas and traditions and through the years have continually left it in that pathetic state of being, declaring, Lord you do such and such for us. And should he reach out and bless, through his great mercy, some poor soul caught up in this trap of carnality, they will go wild- saying, Oh, we have God in our midst. NO YOU DON’T! You seem to forget God is omnipresent, therefore irregardless whether the building or the people were there God would still be there because he is omnipresent, he is everywhere. DOOR, SHEEP AND SHEPHERD Turn to St. John 10:7 and for a few moments let us examine how Jesus referred to the souls of men as being God’s sheep. As I said, no man before nor after Christ could ever speak in such a way — I AM THE DOOR TO THE SHEEP-FOLD. Men before and after Christ could only point you to the door but THE DOOR is Christ! Jests using simple language terms and illustrations speaks concerning sheep, shepherd and the way into the sheepfold. No, he is not a God who speaks in Philadelphia lawyer terms but instead his terms are simple and down to earth. Little illustrations, words and phrases in order to get his thought over to you whereby his thought may become your thought. (John 10:7) Then said Jesus unto them, verily, verily I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. Already we have heard him declare himself to be the LIGHT and how we should walk in that light in order to have life. SHEEP AND STRANGERS Here Jesus discusses sheep knowing his voice and not following a stranger as he says. My sheep know my voice and another (kind of shepherd) they will not follow. Years ago I raised sheep and I will never forget once buying some new ewes and placing them with the rest of the flock. At first they did not know me. It is a strange environment to be around sheep, they are nervous. At first they won’t mix very well with the flock as they withdraw themselves. Nevertheless after a while when they learn where their feed come from, it isn’t long until they begin to loosen up and become more acquainted and after awhile they will come on in. When you treat sheep right and they become acquainted with your voice be careful because once you take a bucket of corn and get in with them they will crawl all over you. However let a stranger come along and pick up the bucket, guess where the sheep will be–50 yards away from that stranger. You can throw the corn to them and it is true, they will eat it, nevertheless they will keep their eyes on that stranger (John 10:4-5). Jesus was well aware of this when he used sheep language and said “My sheep know my voice and a stranger they will not follow.” What did he mean–they know my voice? A born again revelated child of God recognizes the voice of God whenever God speaks to them through his truth. In the spiritual sense sheep like truth and since they like truth, when they hear the bucket rattle if they have been receiving truth they will come running to the truth.
EXPERIENCE WITH SHEEP
One cold winter day I had brought the sheep in because it was lambing season (around February). For several days the sheep had been kept fastened up in a dark stable and finally it warmed up and I decided to turn them out. I shelled a bucket of corn and went into the stable where all the sheep flocked around me. Here is where I made my first mistake because as I stood in the doorway and the sheep saw the sunlight shining and the rattle of the bucket excited them so, the next thing I knew I was flat on my back with the sheep running over me. Once on the outside of the dark stable they stood there hollering as if to say–come and feed me. No they did not run off, they knew where the feed came from but seeing the light and having been shut up in that dark barn for so long they became excited. They wanted to get in the warm sunlight, nevertheless they still wanted to be fed. Jesus said he was THE DOOR to the sheepfold meaning every true revelated child of God who hungers for God or who wants to walk in fellowship with God who is a Spirit must come this way and Jesus said I AM THE WAY, no man cometh unto the Father but by me. Again I say, no one else could possibly say I AM THE WAY. I certainly can not yet I Gray to God I may walk in the light if the truth whereby I can say to ill, come this is the way, walk ye in t. For there are many ways that seem right and are so very close to he way yet Proverbs teaches they re all ways of death. Often Jesus spake such things as I am the way, the life, the light, the truth and here in verse 14 he declares I am he way.
RESURRECTION AND LIFE
From John 11:25 which tells of the death of Lazarus and how Martha, his sister, had gone forth to meet Jesus we learn through this conversation he is the resurrection and the life. Master, had you been here, said Martha, My brother would not have died yet I know he shall raise again in the resurrection in the last day. Thy brother shall rise again (verse 23) declared Jesus. The resurrection was a well established Old Testament teaching seeing the synagogue Rabbi’s had taught the subject. Martha said I know he will raise in the resurrection in the last days. However watch Christ’s own words, it is the first time we hear him make such a statement–I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE! Could any prophet before say that? Although there were intervals of time different prophets prayed for those who had died and God would answer their prayer by restoring the dead to life, no man could declare I am the resurrctior and the life, he could only point man to the very source from whict cometh that life who was able tr raise man from his fallen physics state of death. Jesus was life, ha was God, he was the Resurrectioi for in him are all the promises o the word of God, yea and amen Everything hinges upon him Christ did not say follow me and will lead you to the resurrection-NO, instead he said unto Martha AM THE RESURRECTION ANI THE LIFE. IN other words you an looking at THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE!
Part 3 — TWO GROUPS, WHICH ARE YOU
How could God ever have people in unity until first they get their spiritual eyes open in order to see the true light they are suppose to walk in? How will you ever have a people walking in unity if in their minds they can’t see, can’t comprehend or can’t come to an understanding revelatory-wise that there are certain basic Bible teachings which must be embraced in the correct manner! I have heard so much of this modern day philosophy, coming out of dark Babylon—well, we don’t have to accept this or that, all we do is believe in Jesus. What verse, may I ask you, did you find that in? True, there are things man may become lopsided on and once you find a church which has become lopsided on any one or more things in this Bible, mark it down you have discovered a church that is not walking in the light! No, they stopped walking in the light. Walking in the light is you walking 9 in all the light you see which God has revealed or shined unto your pathway. Walking in the light further means you have not stopped walking in light and truth. If you walk in the light you want to walk in the understanding of all God is through his word, revealed to you by the Holy Ghost. Why would Paul -write to the Ephesians declaring he had already prayed for them that they might comprehend what is that breadth, height and depth of God as they walk in the light if this could not be done!
Group 1-LIGHT HATERS
Yes, he is the truth and John 3:19 .declares he is also the LIGHT. Then in verse 20 John refers to certain ones who will not come to the light and furthermore tells why! For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light! Yes, certain ones are light haters! The scripture says it is THOSE WHO DO EVIL (religiously). Recall anyone who hates the truth and tries to stay out of the light because they love darkness spiritually speaking, is a water bug! THAT IS EXACTLY THE NATURE OF WATER BUGS! He hates the light! He is afraid of the light! Years ago when I began my pastorate I was canvassing a certain community. Approaching one person, I told them who I was and where I pastored and asked if they were a Christian. Oh yes, we are Christians, we attend such and such a church. As a matter of fact we have so many attendance pins. If I recall correctly, her husband had one medal showing he had never missed church in 20 years. I soon realized there was no need of talking any further to this person seeing they had all these medals of honor and were as decorated with medals as a returning soldier from World War II or Korea. Perhaps one of their pins could have been for loyalty or for being the head of a rummage sale, you never know! Imagine God needing such stuff to support his program. Beloved I remind you if God ever needed anything he would not require your old worn out pants and shirts to sell on Main Street to rim his program! OH NO, he would require your best, NOT YOUR LEFTOVERS!
True, John says, for everyone who doeth evil (religiously) hateth the light neither cometh to the light lest his deeds be made known. Isn’t that just like the nature of a water bug who doesn’t think much of himself-ashamed of his whiskers. For the moment light appears, he DISAPPEARS! See beloved, this is exactly the evil Jesus is referring to spiritually. When this verse of scripture was written, it was not applying primarily to some harlot or drunkard out there as if to indicate they wouldn’t come to the light! No, beloved scripture shows this class did come to the light more readily than did the religious church goers of that hour! Evil deeds or doing evil. referred to here, is that loyal group of church goers who are already set in their ways in so much they openly declare—I HAVE MY OWN IDEAS ABOUT THIS THING AND NO ONE CAN CHANGE ME! That beloved is the group this verse refers to! It refers to the religious groups such as Jesus constantly was confronted with at Jerusalem and other places. Constantly Jesus faced trouble at Jerusalem, the religious headquarters, location of Sanhedrin court, etc. Spies from these various organizations of religion were continually sent out to invade, to harass his privacy or his services, searching for anything that might be used against him. None of these groups as a whole intended to walk in the light. Their main evil purpose was to ridicule, ask questions not to learn truth but to trap him! Often Jesus would be teaching on some important doctrine and how true it is today there are still certain doctrines in the word of God that many church going people will inform you quickly—we don’t need any of that stuff—. Here I must say again, if you have gone to seed on any one thing, you are not walking in the light! However if you will take the word of God as it is written and as God intended to reveal it unto you then he will continually impart to your soul spiritual growth as well as spiritual understanding causing your inner man to be illuminated in the revelation and knowledge of Christ whereby you might have a better understanding as to what God means in his true program or his real purpose for your life as you come to the light and begin to walk therein. And provided you continually walk in the light and don’t stop I assure you-you will certainly find a place in your life for every word and every doctrine this Bible brings out in the grace dispensation as it is definitely to be taught unto you! Beloved, it is only when people grow in the grace of
God; it is only when people can’t or refuse to walk in the light or when they find themselves going to seed on some little something that they grieve God and wind up off in a corner sitting down. Whenever man stops walking, having only received one doctrine–that man has stopped walking in the light. And since he has stopped walking in the light will never be able to go any further in spiritual truth than his one little pet doctrine! No doubt the one doctrine is light of truth and fits into the overall program of God for a New Testament Christian, nevertheless when that man accepts the light of that one doctrine and simply stops, refusing to go on, that man has stopped walking in the light.
ONE SURRENDERED LIFE
Let us examine for a moment, one fleshly man who did walk in the light, who was mankind’s perfect example, who often remarked I do only what the Father (great Eternal Spirit) shows me to do. Yes, Christ was none other than a surrendered vessel of clay for the operation of the will and mind of the heavenly father to illuminate and revelate every thought• of his physical fleshly being and from those yielded lips might be spoken words which was none other than words which he referred to himself as words being spirit and life and light to the soul of man who would hear and obey them.
Group 2-OBEYS TRUTH
In John 3:19 as we have examined, John declares there is a certain class who would not come to the light and told why. However I am glad he did not stop there because in verse 20 he tells of a class who will come to the light and this class is the one who obeys truth. No beloved, this class is by no means the one having the nature of the water bug or wiggle worm, seeing they hunger for light. They don’t run and hide at the sight of light but instead hungers for light continually crying Lord feed my soul. He that doeth truth cometh to the light, John says. Light of what, we might ask—SPIRITUAL. UNDERSTANDING, SPIRITUAL ILLUMINATION OR REVELATION. Why does John say this group comes to the light? They come to the light that their deeds may be manifest. In other words, if there is a blemish in their faith or a dark spot of carnality anywhere in their belief, somewhere they want that shaved away. And only the light can ex-pose the darkness! No, they are not natured like the old water bug who wants to keep his long whiskers, etc., but in this case, religiously, if the long whiskers must be shaved off, those walking in the light will always say, Lord if they must come off then take them off! This class wants every religious idea that has connected itself to their ‘faith to be shaved away. No longer are they a class who desires to live in the darkness, his deeds have been made manifest, the light is what did it! Those loving darkness will flee the light every time. Darkness is evil!
No beloved, you don’t know a minister. irregardless to the call in his life, who is the light. You may have known some who reflected more light than others, yet there was only one who could ever testify to being the light. Not only did that one declare he was the LIGHT but also declared he was the LIFE, THE WAY, THE DOOR and THE GOOD SHEPHERD. This one who declared himself to be all these things is truly all these things whereby he might fulfill every need in the realm of salvation whereby we might escape from our dilemma or sinful state of being. Everything we had need of to do this-Christ was! And remember
the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle John declared it was that thought of God when spoken was manifested as the Word of God who was predestined to be made flesh and dwell among mankind.
SATELLITE, PICTURES AND MESSAGE
Prophets of old humbly lived and walked before Jehovah in order their fleshly tabernacle might portray that light or that word. In a sense it acted as a satellite to flash a picture to mankind. Our age lives in the day of satellites and satellites are being used to receive and send pictures throughout the world. However I remind you, the satellite (which is hidden from man’s view) is not the picture it is sending. We simply bounce messages off them but neither or they the message. Science has so produced and positioned these satellites in outer space that they may receive and transmit back to earth certain things to people who live on a sphere or angle seeing otherwise it would be most dif-ficult, because a picture cannot be transmitted in a curve. The electrical beam must be in a straight cycle, therefore the satellite was made and placed in the universe, up high enough that it can cover a great scope. At its height it can cover half the earth at one time. Thus they are able to bounce a picture off the satellite and it will hit the other side of the earth.
POSITIONED AND PROGRAMMED
I use that thought to show how prophets of old were so positioned in God’s program. No they were not the word nor the light they were sending? Like any other men, they too were once sinners. Nevertheless Jehovah had so chosen these vessels of clay that through them the anointing of himself could so work when their brain or their lips were inspired, words could be spoken which was held true for centuries. Some statements these prophets made, after thousands of years still have not been fulfilled. Nevertheless because it originated with him, who is the thought himself. He who was the originator of that thought, prophecy and so forth he will continually watch over that spoken, expressed word by the prophet until the hour arrives to bring to pass everything which he has spoken under the anointing.
LIGHT SHINING IN DARKNESS
Recall it was John also who, throughout Christ’s earthly ministry, said Christ continually used such terms, showing he was the I AM who met Moses in a burning bush as he would say I AM the way, I AM the door, I AM the life, the light, etc. No man comes to the Father but by me (or through me). Who was he, he was the I AM, meaning I AM whatever you have need of. He is the I AM who is able to meet every particular situation of life. John wrote that he the I am, was the light that shined in dark places yet man refused to come to him, seeing they loved darkness rather than light. When John says he is a light shined in dark places we should not think of him carnally in the sense as some gigantic flood or searchlight, sweeping some remote, darkened vegetated jungle, shining a gigantic beam into the darkness nevertheless he is to be seen as the light of God that has been so manifested to reach out into man’s carnal, fallen state of existence and there exposing or bringing to light his many hidden evil, religious carnal ideas which lay within his mind. Therefore seeing the light of truth, spiritually, had come makes it most evident that man does walk in darkness and Christ was that light which was designated to shine in dark places to lighten every man’s pathway in order to guide him away from his darkened, evil, religious, selfish, carnal ideas and to show him, through this light, how his thoughts could be pleaSing to Jehovah, and to know how his soul could be filled with the light of God’s truth. No wonder he declared I AM the way; I AM the light. Had the sayings of Jesus been upheld through the centuries and mankind had not strayed from them, coupled with the teachings of the apostles who never, by any means, spoke anything contrary to that of Jesus, although they were permitted to use words, phrases and personal statements different from his, I want you to know when you read that which Jests said, that which, Peter, Paul, James and others said, you will always receive the same concept of thought. Each statement only adds to the other, not changing the revelation in any manner. But instead it builds a consistent life, a consistent story of truth. In other words it is progressive and if you have a spiritual mind when you read the teachings of Jesus and pass over into the teachings of Paul, Peter, James and others, if you are truly born again and the Holy Ghost dwells within you, beloved that Spirit of God will add to you faith unto faith (REVELATION UNTO REVELATION( WHEREBY YOUR INNER MAN MAY GROW UP INTO THE LIKENESS OF Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:29).
WALKING IN SAME UNDERSTANDING
No beloved walking in the light is not simply God piling up a lot of knowledge in your mind and leaving you destitute and ignorant as to the purpose and objective of God by it. When the apostles picked up the pen and the authority and responsibility lay within their grasp to represent that light, you never hear Peter or Paul say – nor any other disciples — I AM THE WAY, I AM THE LIGHT, I AM THE DOOR! Absolutely not! Nevertheless, when Jesus prayed in the Garden, recorded in John 17, his last prayer was that the Father (the great Eternal Spirit) might keep these apostles as one (in mind, doctrine, unity, etc.) as he and the father were one. Then he made this profound statement–neither pray I for these alone but for all them (throughout the ages) who shall believe on me through their words. And I remind you their word was consistent always with that which Jesus had earlier spoken. Their words of light and truth merely added to the furtherance of his revelation, added to the light and wisdom that God had purposed to give to his church, the body of Christ, in order that the church could consistently and progressively walk in the light of Jesus Christ. Though as a fleshly man Christ was no longer here, nevertheless I remind you, he was still the light who, as Spirit would lighten every man’s pathway, guiding him out of his pagan institutions of religious ideas and superstitions and cause him to be a newborn creature in Jesus Christ whereby every convert living in that apostolic age could see the light and furthermore walk in the light the same as they, the apostles had. See beloved, because the apostles’ revelation and light was the same as that of Christ who was the LIGHT, they were able to walk down the road of life in the same truth and the same understanding with all those of the Ephesus Church Age! Holiness was the same; each doctrinal revelation was the same. Why? Because they all walked in the same light! No, one true believer in the early church was going up the road in one line of thought, while another I was going up another road of contrary thought. Certainly not! For them there was only one way of thought and that was, IN THE LIGHT of the way Jesus Christ had set before them through his pattern of character, nature and so forth. Though they knew him not after the flesh, these early Gentile Christians, they were not following him as a personal fleshly image. Nevertheless they had a revelation of him in their soul which inspired them as they journeyed down life’s pathway, walking in the spirit. These saints were walking in the way which was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ who declared I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIGHT THE DOOR, GOOD SHEPHERD and so forth.
WHAT ABOUT PREVIOUS TRUTHS
Therefore seeing he is THE LIGHT, it falls man’s lot to do one of two things: to walk in that way, to stay in that way and be consistent in that way or to com-promise:For if a man will walk and stay in him who is the way and the light, that very way will always be consistent and that very way will lead mankind unto an even greater light, greater understanding and greater truth. Remember, just because I said this way will lead you into greater truth, that does not mean to imply that you throw away or lay down any of the previous truths you have already received in order to be able to reach out and receive more light and truth into your life. Beloved, when God gives you something, he doesn’t give you this something whereby you may play with it for a day or two, grow tired then discard it in search of something else, acting like some small child who became tired of the little toy his daddy spent 75c for, rattling it around for a few days then wants something else! No beloved, when the Lord gives you something which is truth, it should never wear out nor should it get old. As you walk in the light of that truth and you have feasted and enjoyed the revelation of it, the Lord knows when it is now time to add a little more to that which you have already received. True, it is greater light but you don’t discard what you have already received to accept it. It is merely God adding a little more truth to that you have already received thus enlarging the joy and enthusiasm over that which you have already been enjoying! John tells us in his little epistle (I John 1:1-4) written to the Gentile church around 90 A. D. of having personally seen and walked with the Lord as a fleshly person.
MIND HASN’T CHANGED
Wonder if John continued to feel this same way toward the light about which he wrote in his epistle now that he is an old man. Yes beloved, he certainly does. And to show you how consistent John is, many years later as we find him still walking in the light, seeing he has not turned his back on the way, we hear him in his opening statement to the church recorded in I John 1:1 (It is easy to recognize John is the writer of this letter as well as the gospel of John because in both incidences, though years apart, John begins both letters with practically the same reference to the word who was in the beginning! ) Going back to the beginning, John says, “that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and our hands have handled OF THE WORD OF LIFE.” Recall in St. John’s gospel he pointed to the word of life showing that which was in the beginning was the thought of God which was with God and was God and had become flesh. (The thought of God had become flesh.) Now years later John is looking back over this entire event of his experience and fellowship with that manifested thought of God which became his word and in John’s day took on a fleshly form. John refreshes the memory of the believer who has been brought to Christ through his ministry, Gentile converts who had never known Christ or fellowshipped him after the flesh and therefore John approaches the subject because he was back there and in his own mind he could remember the hours he had walked and talked with Christ, that spoken word made flesh. HEARD THE WORD Therefore he is refreshing their memory by saying, that which was from the beginning which we have heard,’ and truly beloved, John had heard hint many times. John, you recall, was in the boat that night on the Sea of Galilee when the storm came up and almost sank the boat. The frightened disciples awakened the Lord saying, Master, careth thou not that we perish? I can see him waking from his sleep because being a man he became weary and tired as a man would although in spirit he was God! Raising up, peering into the blackness of the storm, he cried with a loud voice, Peace be still and every wave became calm. Furthermore, John was on the mountainside when 5000 men plus women and children were fed. At last sensing hunger in the multitude who had followed Christ out into the wilderness, these disciples began to press around Jesus declaring, Master you better release these people in order they might go into the village to buy food, only to hear Christ say, you feed them! Out of this God per-formed a miracle and John was .there. John, along with the other disciples stood before the master who took these pieces of bread, brake them, placing the pieces in the hands of the disciples saying, go feed them. Standing there with his little piece of bun in his hand which was hardly enough to feed John alone, and would remain the same size until he started to obey Jesus. As he walked up to a company of 50 and began breaking off pieces, he no doubt noticed he still had a hand full and after many hands full of bread had been broken and passed out, still there remained a handful. Yes, John was there when a crowd of 5000 men with women and children was fed with the 5 loaves and 2 fishes for recall he gave us his account of the miracle. No doubt he helped gather the many basketfuls left over once the great multitude finished eating and far more was gathered after they were through eating than was had in the beginning. Yes, John could say to the church, that which was from the beginning, we have heard him speak, which we have seen with our eyes. No way could I possibly doubt it, John said.
SAW WORD MANIFESTED
“Seen with their eyes” shows they looked upon him and “our hands have handled him”…we shook hands with him. Often those hands may have been dirty and dusty nevertheless, with these hands he blessed men; with these hands he touched the sick; with these hands he changed people’s lives and circumstances that many of them had been caught up in. John is saying, we heard with our ears and saw with our eyes and touched him. No, it wasn’t a book they had touched; it wasn’t a scroll they had handled; it was the spoken word of life manifested into a fleshly form. Or shall we say, it was the thought of God manifested, that had now taken on an earthly form. For John said the word of life was manifested.
What kind of life is he referring to–some natural life placed in our bosom carrying the curse and death penalty of a fall in the garden from our first parents—CERTAINLY NOT! John refers to that life which had no beginning and no ending and since it is that life which was manifested in an earthly human form, which had no beginning and ending, it can’t be any other than GOD’S ETERNAL LIFE manifested. God’s life in a fleshly body was put on public display and we have seen it, John says, and bear witness and show to you (the church) that Eternal Life which was with the father (great Eternal Spirit), that it was this life and not another which was manifested unto us. We were there, we saw every account and our eyes did not deceive us. Our ears did not deceive us when we heard it. Therefore we know it was the LIGHT and we know it was ETERNAL LIFE. Remember he is telling the church many years later, those disciples who had never seen Jesus in the flesh, that which they had seen and heard. It is John’s way of saying, we declare that life we bear witness of, that life which we are declaring unto you, that is now in your bosom you should praise God for. We are telling you this, that you may have fellowship with us in this knowledge and light of the word.
FELLOWSHIPPING IN THE LIGHT
Imagine how serious all this was with John, who had been commissioned along with all the other disciples to go into all the world and teach the good news (the gospel) spread it, proclaim it, testify to it, witness of it and publish it. In other words, let all mankind know that which you have seen and heard was the manifested word of life which was with the father in the beginning in order that all mankind may also know how to believe and accept him. And that just as Christ was with his own disciples in the flesh, he could be the same with them in the spirit who had never seen him. Tell them I will be the same to them I have been to you. OH, PRAISE GOD, John is so eager, though many years older, to share the revelation that he for so long had walked with and is still a burning truth in his soul. This he wants to share with other fallen mankind whereby fallen mankind might escape their deadly situation and come and have fellowship with this same light of truth with whom John Was having fellowship. Because John says I tell you this that you may have fellowship with us and truly our fellowship is with the father, though I remind you not in the sense he is one person up there and with his son Jesus Christ who would still be another separate person according to trinitarian teaching! NO, what does John say—because the fellowship of the father and his son Jesus Christ is only in the Holy Ghost!
FELLOWSHIPING FATHER AND SON
To rephrase that for better understanding, what John is actually saying is–I have fellowship with the father and the son, however that fellowship is not from the standpoint of separate physical persons. I have never seen Christ after the flesh therefore how could I possibly fellowship with him after the flesh! Thus our fellowship with the father and with the son, Jesus Christ is in the revelation of the Holy Ghost! John says this is the ‘message we have heard of him and declare unto you that God is light and in him is no darkness. Breaking that statement down into present day terminology would mean God is all truth, there is no lie in him, there is no deception in him and get this, there is no error, there is no tradition, there is no creed and there is no human dogma IN HIM! Every doctrine in him is his own doctrine, every teaching is his own thought and since he can’t lie, he is truth and when you break that all down–that is light and he wants us to walk in it. God is light and in him is no darkness. Nevertheless the day you conceive or imagine God becomes a liar then you will have to question everything he is as to whether that is also truth or whether he changed his mind also. If we had to believe in Jesus Christ on the basis of everyone’s idea of Christian teaching, as though it was 100 per cent possible, then all I can say is somewhere we would make the discovery that in him would be an awful lot of darkness because there sure is a lot of darkness in many things people teach concerning him!
GOD IS LIGHT
Why are many of these teachings darkness? Because they simply do not fit into true Bible teaching. Therefore since the scripture teaches there is no darkness in God, he is completely light, we hear John saying to the disciples in his day—and remember it applies to every generation from that hour on who will declare I am a Christian. Being a Christian means I am seeking to walk in the light of Jesus Christ! One thing is to be a Christian in name only while another is to be a Christian in light, John is saying to the disciples of his hair (around 90 A. D. well over 50 years after Pen-tecost) warning them by declaring—if we say we have fellowship with him-it simply means to have fellowship with God-and that is to walk in the light of truth. That is the only way possible to have fellowship with Christ. Are you aware of what I said? For you to fellowship with God is to walk in light for God is Spirit, that is to say God is the spirit of truth which Jesus referred to as the Holy Ghost (John 14:16-17, 26; John 16:13)! NOT IN FELLOWSHIP How could he possibly turn you loose in this world and pamper you by saying–there, there my child, you go on and believe whatever you want to, I want you to know you are still my little boy. That might well be a terminology for modern parents to raise a modern child of the natural in this generation, that is, just bring up a child and turn him loose as many parents seemingly have done, caring not whether the child obeys. Sure, they are still your child in that respect, even if they don’t obey and disregard what you say but I assure you of one thing–that child certainly isn’t in fellowship with daddy. That is, unless daddy condones everything the child does, letting him have his way WHICH GOD, OUR FATHER, WON’T DO!! WITH GOD IT WILL NOT BE THAT WAY! You fellowship with God because you have been born again and because he is the truth and the WAY and he presented himself to you through the light of his word. Some have the mistaken idea ;imply because God is Spirit that le just hangs around and by hanging around you, you feel his spirit and say thank you Lord I feel your Spirit, I feel so good and with that he simply leaves you there to go on your merry way believing anything you want to! Where, may I ask, did you ever come up with such an idea as that? You sure did not get it out of the Bible! Possibly you may have found it in someone’s church creed but you never got an idea as that from the Bible!
LOOK AT SCRIPTURE
Sooner or later when God comes unto you as that Spirit to woo and bless you, to create that sensitive reaction to let you know he is a spirit and that you can feel him, remember it is all for one primary purpose. In essence he is saying, I am here that you and I may have some fellowship. Sooner or later he is going to set you down and talk to you. It won’t be long until that book (the Bible) is going to be laid out before you and that Spirit is going to say, what do you think about this? And remember his attitude is not like that of two different people, asking each other how do you see this or that and it is only a matter of you giving your opinion. No beloved, God doesn’t talk to us in those terms, God’s talk is entirely different. When he comes unto you for fellowship it is to get you in line with his word and he will probably show you the truth on some part of his word and ask you what are you going to do about it.
Concerning this fellowship with God’s Word—I will never forget hearing Bro. William Branham mention water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. His statement shook me I was not aware such a thing existed in the Bible. Like so many other people, I too, was unaware there was a number of things in this book having gone only to certain religious systems, believing whatever they had preached to be the law and the gospel. Had they been told to stand on their heads, they would have, or run around the bench three times, they would have done it because their pastor told them to. Yet beloved, God is in his word! Hearing those words concerning being baptized the Bible way caused me to think back through the years as to just how had I been baptized by that Church of Christ minister. Not remembering how I was baptized nor even being concerned at the time, I decided it best to study how the Church of Christ baptized. That is terrible beloved when people do not even know how they were baptized! The disciples of John in Acts 19 knew how they had been baptized—unto John’s baptism. Paul says, that won’t do now, there is more light on the subject since that day. Every one of you have to be baptized over in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 19:5). Without any argument they were rebaptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. However some people aren’t like that, they have no idea how they were baptized, they don’t even realize which way they are going in Christianity. They don’t even know what they are eating—whether it is life or death! They are merely willing to sit in some church with their mouth gaped open like little birds saying, feed me preacher, bugs, worms, anything! But you know, the mother bird knows what to feed her little ones, therefore when God comes to fellowship his little ones you may rest assured he too knows what to feed you. I remind you, he did not come to argue with you: he did not come to get your opinion on some portion of his word. Knowing your spiritual makeup God knows just how much you can take, and believe me he will deal with you very slowly. Nevertheless as he comes to fellowship your spirit sooner or later he is going to allow you to take a spiritual look at some of his word. Then he is going to remark—what are you going to do with it? You may even scratch your head, yet I remind you if you are going to fellowship with God and God fellowship with you, you can rest assured you are not going to be able to argue back and say. well Lord, I just don’t see it that way! After he has given you ample time to see it his way. he expects you to make a move up into more light for better fellowship. Now it is up to you to do with it what you will, however I remind you what the prophet Amos said when he asked Israel concerning her relationship with God when it was apparent they did not agree with God, he asked the question how can two walk together except they agree! If we say we have fellowship with him (the Lord) and walk in darkness, biblically speaking walking in darkness is walking in unbelief–and unbelief is the very origin of every dogma, creed, tradition that man ever devised once he had simply refused to believe certain things in the scripture. When this happens, man automatically hatches up something to take the place of God’s fellowship. And beloved, there isn’t a religious movement in this world that does not have certain teachings behind it, certain inherited traditional dogmas. The Buddhist, the Hindus, Moslems all have it. They all have their teachings-rand I remind you their teaching does not stem from the source of truth hence, their teachings are not truth—their teachings are the source of darkness therefore there is no way you could be a Buddhist and have fellowship with Jehovah. Nor can you be a Hindu and have fellowship with Jehovah.
CAN’T FELLOWSHIP DARKNESS
Let’s bring that a little closer to home. You can not walk in traditional teaching contrary to scripture and be in fellowship with Jehovah! No. you can not have fellowship with him and walk in darkness! John says no matter how much we testify to having fellowship with him yet walk in darkness when he is the light and in him is no darkness, John says we truth. Recall in John’s gospel he remarked how Jesus was the light. “And this is condemnation, that light has come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.” And they will not come to this light whereby their deeds may be reproved and made manifest as to just what they are. But thank God he that does walk in truth has a hunger for truth, comes to the light because above everything else he wants fellowship from God: Therefore he will come to this light for life. I have never yet heard of a hungry man lost in a jungle but what he went insearch for food, he will desire to get out of that place because he is tired of walking in darkness. So it is in the Spirit, he will search for light and truth until somewhere he will find it. No beloved, when you hunger for truth and thirst after righteousness you are not merely content to sit down in a mangled jungle of some old warped religious traditions or ideas declaring I am completely satisfied!
Whatsoever will not walk in the light, sooner or later, becomes darkness even though they may boast and declare we know this movement we are in, is of God. Recall it requires truth to make light and it is truth as long as you walk in it. Moreover if you are ever going to fellowship with God, God won’t allow you to sit down on just one little thing only for so long before moving you on into more light. If we fail to walk in that light in our hour, we will be exactly ir. the condition that these lukewarm church people of the Laodicean Church Age found themselves in when God came in unto them to have some warm fellowship. Recall he came in unto those who were suppose to be walking in the light and there desired to extend his fellowship even in a greater way by offering them more truth only to find the Laodicean church age people, an age which began around 1906 had actually grown lukewarm in their present relationship toward God and had by no means allowed their fellowship to grow hot and fervent in the truth as God would like to see the fellowship be, instead the people had become too wrapped up or involved in their own creeds and ideas of the scripture!
COST OF LUKEWARM FELLOWSHIP
Thus after trying to fellowship with the age of people, God recognized they were only going to withdraw from his fellowship and remain in their own ideas now said unto them, I know thy works that thou art neither cold nor hot, I would thou were cold or hot so that because thou art lukewarm (in your fellowship with me) and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth! Why? “Because thou sayest I am rich and increased (already) with goods and have need of nothing. What they are saying is, Lord I don’t need your fellowship. To have fellowship with you means I have to continue to walk in the light and we don’t need to walk in the light, we don’t need anything! God says unto this age of people, don’t you know that thou art wretched, poor, blind and naked. I counsel of thee to buy of me gold ( Pure revelated faith) tried in the fire that thou mayest be rich and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear. And anoint thine eyes with eye-salve that thou mayest be able to see.” Beloved, such an attitude did not come about overnight. God did not cast these people aside overnight. instead he gave them ample time as he will give all of us time to decide whether we will remember fellowshipping God means we are going to have to see the thing like God sees it and ac-cept the truth, not in a rebellious manner, by any means, but in a hot fervent spirit toward God whereby our soul from the new truth God is showing us will be a revelation, that is, a burning spiritual fire in our bosom, praising and rejoicing in our spirit because of what God has shown to us in his word!
SHEPHERD MOVES SHEEP
Recall, it is truth that makes light and it is truth as long as you walk in it and at no time will God ever permit you to sit down and graze on any one little thing for too long a period without moving you on into more truth. Jesus taught us he was the great shepherd of the sheep in God’s pasture, did he not? And beloved this is why God would never desire any man to build a denominational fence around his little sheep! I have been out west in Colorado in one of the big sheep raising areas, out where men camp along side their flocks of sheep. And did you know the shepherd never permits his sheep to graze in only one spot? Any time you have 3-5 thousand sheep allowed to graze very long in one spot you will find they pick that grass down into the ground. Therefore once a sheepherder has decided his sheep has grazed long enough on one spot and they have gotten the best of the grass which is beneficial and furthermore in order to preserve that area of grass for further growth where by later they may graze there again, the shepherd observes close watch over this spot of grass they are now eating and once he sees his sheep have grazed it down, not to an excess, he now chooses another spot where he desires to move his flock. With his dogs and pony he starts the sheep moving to the next spot. You can hear him begin calling his sheep and it isn’t long before 2-3 ewes who are most familiar with the sheepherder’s voice begin gathering around his feet. At first he will lead his pony a little ways until he gets them all started. Now that he has a few old ewes started he mounts his pony and perhaps for two miles or more will cross over grassy orairies and rolling hillsides and as he slowly rides along, once in a while he can be heard to say, come on sheep, seeing they are strung out over such a broad area. Along side him trots the faithful shepherd dog and if occasionally an old ewe wants to be indifferent or contrary taldng off into the rocks, all the shepherd does is send forth his dog who cuts off the path of the sheep and returns it to the flock. Thus the shepherd has safely led his flock into another grassy area. Beloved I want you to know that is the way God the great Shepherd’ is with his sheep also. David said, the Lord is my shepherd I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, he leadeth me beside the still waters and he restoreth my soul…
No beloved, God is not going to set his sheep down on one certain truth and there permit you to graze and graze and graze until you heve worn the grass right into the ground, wore your teeth out and now you are gumming the same old thing over and over! We have church people today who have gummed the same thing until they have no more spiritual teeth to chew anything with! Therefore I repeat, God does not build denominational fences around his sheep, he intends for his sheep to walk in the light and eat throughout his pasture as he leads them! This leads us up to a most serious thought found in I John 1:7. For John declares to the Church is we walk in the light, Surely this is a serious thing once you think about it—to walk in the light. If I, Raymond Jackson, walk in the light! If you walk in the light! Beloved, had not I walked in the light some 20 years ago I certainly would not be walking in truth now. No doubt I would still be sitting in the same old denomination, perhaps even the same church, going along with everything that is being shoved at this denomination today! Sitting there in the darkness of by gone days, like many others, thinking that perhaps God who was once mightly in that teaching (while they Walked in the light) that this is where he has to be from now on. Remember, to walk in the light never means God asks anyone to discard any previous true teaching. No, the teaching that once was life in the Methodist Church is still truth even today, however the problem with people in this system and other systems as well is they will no longer place any wood on the spiritual fire to keep the light alive! I recall 20-25 years ago of young people, how stern the Methodist Church was, holding deep conviction as to what a holy life was whereas today they merely accept your testimony simply because you come forward and go through an outward form or gesture that you now desire to be a Christian and desire to join the Methodist Church. Nothing is ever said anymore about allowing the Lord to take away the old cigarette habit or how the women should go home and destroy their shorts and do away with their lib suits or remove that war paint from their faces as it use to be called by the old time Methodist ministers who loved God and proclaimed the standard of Holiness. Women, go home and begin to dress like a Christian! Seemingly the modern church has forgotten all about that.
ADDS MORE TRUTH
Do you know why they have forgotten? It boils down to this sad fact, they would not walk on in the light of God’s word when he moved upon their heart and offered them more truth to walk in, they refused his fellowship. Note, God simply takes that same truth and adds still more truth to it which is even greater light to go with this and gradually moved on leaving that old system to die! And now it, as well as all the others, exists only on the traditions and virtue of bygone days! Hundreds and thousands of people now sit in darkness deceived into believing they are actually walking in the light. As darkness moves in God moves out! No wonder they are able to sit in pews of denominational, religious churches in their scanty mini-skirts up to their thighs, wearing their war paint with eyes colored in every shade, looking like a street woman, no longer feeling con-victed nor condemned for there is no longer anyone there to condemn them anymore! The man smokes the same brand of cigarettes and drinks the same brand of alcohol beverages as do those out in the world of unbelief. The one in the world is an unbeliever while the one in the carnal church doing this is the make believer–THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE ! No wonder now in their huge conventions and gatherings, as they strive for all out church unity salvation is no longer the theme. Instead today it is church unity, world problems, political and racial situations and so forth. Is there any wonder the modern day church of Laodicea who God spued out of his mouth is now all wrapped up in present day disorders when the very thing needed to change any social disorder they kicked right out the door by refusing to have fellowship with! Such action caused God to Move on. God simply took the truth in which they lived and walked, and whoever would accept it he offered more truth and just kept adding to it. Now today out in the front of all this conglomeration of church world who refused God’s fellowship and eventually was spued out of his mouth, Rev. 3: There is a little people who knows what it is to walk with God.
CHRIST OUR EXAMPLE
What does it mean to walk in the light as he is in the light? Recall when Jesus was on earth he did everything exactly as the Father, the great Eternal Spirit, showed or told him to do. Christ did as any man who does not want to live in anyway contrary to the mind and will of the Eternal Spirit. By no means did he conduct his human person in any kind of way that would displease the will and mind of the heavenly father. The will and mind of the heavenly father was so lived and expressed in Jesus Christ and was an example for anyone who desired to walk in the truth. Some in his day saw him only as a carpenter’s son. Yet many of these people, in later years, were touched by his life. He changed many physical situations and something happened to 4heir inner man because through the eye of revelation they no longer saw him as Joseph the carpenter’s son, instead they said I know him as Jesus the Christ, he is the Truth.. the Way and I am going to follow him. He may say things I don’t understand. nevertheless I know if I follow him I will understand later. How true that was and likewise how true it is today. if you hunger for truth you may at times not understand the truth you hear however don’t argue with it. Be sure you have something substantial to tear it to pieces with before you jump on it. It is far better to simply take what you heard and place it in a filing cabinet and with all sincerity say, Lord I don’t understand what I heard, yet I do see it came from your book. so please help this human mind of mine to receive the truth of your word. Remember there is never anything wrong in admitting you don’t understand something. The danger is when you sit there and openly rebelliously say. I don’t believe. I do not see that and furthermore I will have nothing to do with it! When you say that you could be saying a mouth full! While still in the Methodist Church I read a little book about how and what to expect once you receive the Holy Ghost. As I read some of those manifestations which often accompanies the Holy Ghost I threw the book down declaring I WILL HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT! Yet I am so thankful to God I spoke that in ignorance because less than 6 months later I was acting just like some of the people I had been reading about in this book. Therefore I found out firsthand it is better never to argue with God, if you hear or see something.you do not understand simply file it away because if the Holy Ghost is leading you, sooner or later, he will refresh your memory just as Jesus declared the disciples’ memory would be refreshed concerning certain things he had spoken to them which they had not understood but was told they would understand once the spirit of truth had come unto them.
LED TO UNDERSTANDING
What does the Spirit of Truth do? HE LEADS YOU INTO ALL TRUTH! Not only will he show you things to come but he will also bring things to your remembrance and bringing to your remembrance means he is going to bring to your understanding all things what-soever Jesus and the apostles have spoken. The apostles and early disciples Jesus, having already told them once the Spirit of Truth is come what he would do, let us see what he did, especially after the resurrection. Luke declared Jesus in a resurrected glorified body came and spake unto them beginning with Moses and the prophets as the scripture declared he opened their understanding that they might be able to understand the scriptures! Now the things they could not understand concerning Christ and his ministry, who he was and so forth, now begins to become perfectly clear to their understanding. Things are now altogether different. If we walk in the light to have fellowship with God, it is to walk in the light and that light is truth.
TRUTH IS LIGHT
By no means can you disassociate truth from light. John, even before he received the Holy Ghost, had personally walked in the physical presence of him who was the light and I am glad the man who wrote this never changed his attitude concerning walking in the light, even after the Holy Ghost had come into his life on the day of Pentecost. Though after Pentecost there was no longer any physical man called Jesus for John to follow, however there was a revelation of that same character constantly and consistently ever before those spiritual eyes of John that he might fellowship with and though he is now growing old and his beard grey, his eyes growing dim from the natural curse of life, yet before John’s spiritual eyes which never grew dim was always a revelation of Jesus Christ that he could consistently say as a testimony, every day he lived he walked in that light. What is the Light? Truth is! But if we walk in the light of truth as he is in the light…
Recall as a man Jesus did everything the Eternal Spirit told, him to do. Because of Christ’s obedience in that walk, it pleased the Father to take his son up physically by first changing that which had physically died on the cross into immortality positioning him, a man, on his right hand. Not on the right hand of his physical person, but on the right hand of his glory, of his majesty, of his power and of his authority. Therefore Jesus, as a glorified man, sits or stands in the very presence of the glory and majesty of that Jehovah spirit. Why? Because he as a man walked so humbly in the will of the Spirit down here upon earth. Therefore this merited him this position as a man to be taken up and positioned in the very glory of that which is light. Because of his obedience to only do that which the Father required of him, from a human standpoint it showed as a man he walked in the light. That beloved is why he is our example, he only chose to walk in the light. But what if this Christ, the God man, the word made flesh had not chose as a man to walk in the light and had instead decided to walk in the teachings of the Rabbi at Nazareth? Suppose for a moment just as the first Adam who was created perfect and had a will that went contrary to the will of God, could not the second Adam also have done the same, seeing he too had a perfect beginning even as did the first Adam who fell in disgrace? Suppose as a lad, hearing these certain teachings and traditions of the elders, Jesus would have said I think I will walk as the Rabbi’s teach me. Do you know what Jesus would have been doing? He would not have been walking in the light of truth! ! That is why wherever Jesus went and whatever he taught it appeared he was always against everything religiously of that day. Why? — God was walking in the light! He tore down more Jewish tradition than John Doe’s cows once they get in the neighbors’ cornfield! Healing on the Sabbath, plucking corn with his disciples and eating it on the Sabbath. Seemingly he deliberately went against every religious teaching of his age. Why? BECAUSE HE WAS LIGHT IN DARKNESS and light and darkness simply can not fellowship! There will always be a big fuss once light and darkness comes together! Since he was the light, he became so perfect in that, seeing it was the only way he might exemplify the mind of the father to the human race.
MIND OF CHRIST
That is why Paul writing to the Philippians spoke this phrase, “Let that mind be in you which was also in Christ Jests.” What was the purpose of the mind of the man Christ Jesus—it was to please the Eternal Spirit, the Father in all things. We realize, studying this verse, that Jesus was God in human form however. All of him that was flesh was man; all that which was Spirit was God, thus he was the GODMAN. Nevertheless do not forget all the flesh about him was man! No you and I are not God in any sense of the word, nevertheless if I can see who Christ was, while yet being God, was nevertheless able to live as a man here upon this earth and left such a testimony, that from the character he lived and the way he conducted himself and how through his own will he so yielded himself to the eternal Father Spirit, Christ as a man, though perfect as he was, as a man could still have had a will contrary or different and separate from the will of the Father. This we must recognize was totally possible! Moreover from that life and character lived in the flesh as a man we begin to draw a beautiful picture that he was a perfect example set before us. Therefore for me to have the same mind as he did, doesn’t mean it would make me be him, not at all. Yet the objective of God in the man’s mind and life is to make me much in his likeness in this respect that as a man Christ had the mind to walk pleasing in the will and life of God! No, I can not be him, but if I can catch that true picture that he as a man expressed, then God’s purpose through that–is that I might be much in his likeness. Please recognize the difference! It is one thing to actually be him, while it is entirely another thing to be in his likeness in yielding his will to the eternal spirit! You can love something so much you would enjoy being just like it. Little kids, for instance, see their favorite heroes and personalities and desire to be exactly like them. Years ago there was a program called Davy Crockett and it wasn’t long before anywhere you went little boys were wearing coonskin caps, because somewhere there are certain images which attract children. As they envision Davy Crockett watch them, it isn’t long before they stand before some mirror, setting that cap on their head the way they think Davy Crockett did. See they always want to copy some character.
Beloved, did you know, God displayed a character some 2000 years ago and if we can get the right picture and correct revelation of that image of that one, it is not that you are him nevertheless when you see him in his true makeup, then God wants us to put yourself into his mold in order that we may put our spiritual hat on as he wore his in order that we might begin to walk upright, begin to allow our spirit and soul to be disciplined in God that we might more and more be molded into the likeness and obedience of Jesus Christ! Truly he as a man walked in the light and because of that obedient walk the man, God’s Son, was taken and placed in such a high exalted position in the heavenlies and did you know if we walk in the light as he is in the light, John declares, we have fellowship one with the other. No this scripture does not mean you walk in all the light of a certain denominational church thinking all God requires of you is that you walk in all the light you know to be in the Presbyterian, Baptist, Lutheran, Pentecostal Church or some other and you can simply go from place to place to place! NO beloved, that idea of scripture will never fit this verse. The devil has taken this idea and given it to man and man tries to make it apply and come in line with his own carnal teachings and circumstances. Who did this? Not God but the devil and man followed it!
We will try to sum this up by saying, why then are there all these religious confusing ideas today? Simply because somewhere man has refused to walk in the light. Thousands of people go from church to church on a religious bargain hunt, the same as people would go to different chain stores looking for a special bargain, looking for something that sounds good and doesn’t cost much! And in their fleshly makeup they simply refuse to submit to certain scriptural things, they merely declare they are not going to ac-cept that and off they go on another bargain hunting spree, because I am looking for a church that is teaching just what I believe–in other words they already have their mind made up to what they want and believe me there are plenty places that will satisfy these bargain hunters. No, they are not in search because they are truly spiritually hungry! Some of them are only searching to find something to hide behind and those who are this way already have in their minds what they want and believe me it is not truth they want, they merely want a religious cloak behind which to hide! Because spiritually they are naked as a J-bird! Moreover they are searching for a cloak that won’t cost them much and they will get in it and say, that is just what 1 wanted! It may look good as Adam and Eve’s fig leaves did until they heard the voice of God walking in the Gar-den, calling Adam where art thou. For the first time they realized their fig leaf clothing would not be sufficient to stand in the presence of God! Many will also learn this painful fact, only for them it will be too late. There are churches in all areas that irregardless to how you wish to dress you will feel perfectly comfortable there!
IMPORTANCE OF WALKING IN LIGHT
Man, in our age, is so guilty of failing to walk on in the light in order they might be a reflection of that light. Allow me to finish quoting John’s statement as recorded in I John 1:7, If we walk in the light as he is in the light (who is he? CHRIST)–we have fellowship one with another. Then note what happens, “the blood of Jesus Christ. God’s Son cleanseth us from all unrighteousness.” Nevertheless there is a modern term to this used much in Babylon. I am sure you have heard it often—IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT YOU BELIEVE AS LONG AS YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS. No where is there a verse of scripture that will justify such a statement. The Bible says, how can two walk together except they agree. When people say—what does it matter what we believe as long as we believe in Jesus—one day they will discover one of us came up with the wrong answer! Remember we sure, all be tar Intone thin_ks sure, WE NOT ALL BE RIGHT! I do not say such things to be domineering or carnal, God forbid. God’s word is precious. One day we will be judged by it. No, I do not mean we will be judged by A Bible like we have, Yet all that this book is, in the person of Jesus Christ who is the word of God, that is what we will be judged by! Beloved we will be judged on the basis of how we have interpreted him whom we have never seen after the flesh only by Holy Ghost revelation through this Bible. Paul declared, though the Gentiles have not known Christ after the flesh, as did the Jewish race, yet henceforth know we him no more after the flesh. The Gentile Christians had never seen Christ in the flesh to the extent they would know him. However Paul continues by saying, but we do know him (not by the flesh) after the Spirit. What then is this Spirit in winch we Know Christ Jesus by? Is it the spirit of our church creeds or denominations, traditions we have inherited from our ancestors–CERTAINLY NOT! The spirit that you know or recognize Jesus Christ by must be the Spirit of Truth of God’s word. True, many of you ! were affiliated with Gentile denominations and in such things God sought us out (Rev. 18:4). That is why the Bible portrays in Rev. 17 concerning the last days that there is a Babylonian system in this world. A system made up of a conglomeration of gentile religions and Gentile Christianity which entwined itself into this system and enslaved teeming millions. Because the religious ideas have all been so different it has caused the world to look upon Christianity as they know it to be only nothing but a hoax, nothing but a bunch of old religious junk. And you know what, referring to what they are looking at, that is about the truth because a greater percentage of the Gentile teachings and the Gentiles converted to these ideas and traditions want nothing to do with this book. Instead they simply want to propagate the name of Jesus as a cloak and shield to propagate their own carnal motivations. Then if God were to have pity on someone in this and do something, it seems to elevate the people causing them to say, Oh my this has to be right for God’s blessing is among us. Feeling as though that is where God wants to dwell. No beloved God wants to dwell in a soul who has purposed to walk in the light of truth. The reason we have all this is simply because we refused to walk in the light of Christ. Remember beloved you can not walk in the light and stay in darkness. Sooner or later-the light you walk in will lead you to still more light. The reason today people enjoy the modern day religious teaching, They do not expose too much!! Pentecost is dying, light has moved on, picking up still more truth and shining here and there in a greater way. We find in Pentecost, though what they had was truth in their hour and is still truth as a person continues to walk with God, yet because many of them would not walk on in truth the light is fading and as the light dies, the world creeps in to squeeze out the light. When that happens one of two things must be done—either —e will compromise as so many have chosen to do and go with it or secondly reject it and walk with God–Remember to walk with God you must fellowship with light and truth!
I pray I may not pass on to you something to cause your mortal eyes to not see that Jesus is the word of God. Every written word here in your Bible, if properly and rightly interpreted as the Holy Ghost caused it to be written, will revelate and illuminate your soul to acquaint and inspire you and place you in fellowship with him who is the very source and author of this book whereby we may walk in the light as he is in the light.