Children of Light #7

Saturday, August 31, 2019

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them” (John 12:36 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is one of three instances of the expression “children of light” in the Bible. What is the significance of this title?

Saints, before we came to faith in Christ, we were in Satan’s darkness. Now, as “children of light,” we should act accordingly. Ephesians 6:12 speaks of Satan’s minions, “the rulers of the darkness of this world.” Second Corinthians 6:14 says we as “light” have no communion with “darkness.” Romans 13:12 tells us: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” Ephesians 4:17,18: “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:….”

Ephesians chapter 5: “[8] For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: [9] (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; ) [10] Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. [11] And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. [12] For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. [13] But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. [14] Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”

Philippians 2:15 exhorts us, “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;….” Brethren, we should be careful to maintain good works. If we properly represent Father God in this present evil world, we will not repeat Israel’s mistakes of preferring darkness.

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How could John the Baptist question if Jesus really is Christ?

Children of Light #6

Friday, August 30, 2019

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them” (John 12:36 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is one of three instances of the expression “children of light” in the Bible. What is the significance of this title?

When the resurrected, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ reached down and saved Saul of Tarsus, nearly all the world groped in spiritual darkness. Except for the Little Flock (those few Jews who had trusted Jesus as Messiah—Luke 12:32), mankind was under Satan’s control. Almighty God sent the Apostle Paul to preach to these unsaved souls (Acts 26:16-18).

Read 2 Corinthians chapter 4: “[3] But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: [4] In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. [5] For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. [6] For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Recall Psalm 119: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path…. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (verses 105,130).

Compare with Colossians chapter 1: “[12] Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: [13] Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: [14] In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:….” Paul’s Gospel is “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). Israel’s rejected Messiah—that is, personal faith in Jesus’ finished crosswork—is how we escape the formidable darkness of Satan’s evil world system! As God wanted the Jews to be His children, the “children of light,” so we become “children of light” through simple faith in His Son….

Children of Light #5

Thursday, August 29, 2019

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them” (John 12:36 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is one of three instances of the expression “children of light” in the Bible. What is the significance of this title?

Most Jews rejected the Lord Jesus: they were uninterested in being “the children of light.” Since they refused to believe on Him, God intervened and made them unable to believe on Him. The light of Christ’s earthly ministry was gradually withdrawn, and Israel was plunged into greater spiritual darkness (see verses 37-41, what follows today’s Scripture). Just a few days later, they demanded He be crucified as a common criminal, and He died on Calvary’s cross (see Acts 3:13-18). He resurrected victoriously and ascended back to Heaven still spurned!

Leaving Christ’s earthly ministry and entering early Acts, God lifts the blindness from Israel. Christ commissions the 12 Apostles to preach and convert Israel to Him. Even during this renewed opportunity of repentance—God wanting them to change their mind concerning His Son, moving them from unbelief to faith—Israel persisted in doubt and disobedience. By Acts chapter 7, Israel falls before God, and He sets them aside (exactly how He treated the nations back at the Tower of Babel over 20 centuries earlier in Genesis chapter 11).

In chapter 9 of Acts, Christ reached down in grace and peace to save His chief enemy, Saul of Tarsus. Many years later, Saul recounts in chapter 26: “[16] But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; [17] Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, [18] To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”

God will reach the whole (darkened) world—even fallen Israel—through a new Gospel message. He still purposes to create “children of light….”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How is the Holy Spirit ‘the Comforter?’

Children of Light #4

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them” (John 12:36 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is one of three instances of the expression “children of light” in the Bible. What is the significance of this title?

Romans chapter 2 remarks: “[17] Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, [18] And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; [19] And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, [20] An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.” Israel had been given spiritual light in the form of God’s Word (chiefly, the Mosaic Law), but, like the nations earlier, they chose to walk in Satan’s darkness instead.

Christ conducted His earthly ministry to recover them from that darkness. Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, spoke of Israel’s coming Messiah: “Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:78,79). Once Israel would, by faith, participate in God’s “light” program, He would shine in and through them and reach the pagan Gentiles worldwide.

Christ spoke to this end in Matthew chapter 5: “[14] Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid…. [16] Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Yet, they declined. They preferred to be like the unenlightened Gentiles….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you explain, ‘They be blind leaders of the blind?’

Children of Light #3

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them” (John 12:36 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is one of three instances of the expression “children of light” in the Bible. What is the significance of this title?

Isaiah the Prophet, 750 years before Christ, penned: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined” (9:2). Comparing verses, we realize this prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew 4:12-15. Israel, particularly in the area of Galilee (north), was enlightened when Jesus’ earthly ministry began. As God the Son preached and taught Divine wisdom, expounding Old Testament concepts and expanding on them, He was driving out spiritual ignorance and thus weakening Satan’s power over Israel.

The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Peter commented in 1 Peter 2:9: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;….” While most Israelites refused to hear Messiah during His earthly ministry, a believing remnant did leave their apostate nation. They responded positively to God’s light, believing on His Son as the Christ: they passed from death to life, Satan to God, darkness to light. “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Messianic Jews became “children of light” by aligning with the one true God. Believing Jews and unbelieving Jews are compared and contrasted throughout 1 John (note especially 2:8,9,11).

Isaiah also saw in chapter 60, verse 2: “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.” Messiah would come and enlighten Israel! Therefore, the Lord Jesus said in John 12:46: “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” Alas, most of Israel would prefer to “abide in darkness….”

Children of Light #2

Monday, August 26, 2019

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them” (John 12:36 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is one of three instances of the expression “children of light” in the Bible. What is the significance of this title?

Let us turn to chapter 1, a description of the Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, entering the world by becoming a Man: “[4] In him was life; and the life was the light of men. [5] And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. [6] There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. [7] The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. [8] He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. [9] That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”

Go over to chapter 8, verse 12: “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” And, chapter 9, verse 5 (Christ speaking again): “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Lastly, chapter 3: “[18] He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [19] And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. [20] For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. [21] But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (Pardon the pun, but you may want to reread John 12:24-31 “in light” of these passages.)

From the incarnation (becoming flesh) onward through His three-year earthly ministry, God the Son came to enlighten a spiritually-dark world, particularly to make the nation Israel (John 1:11) “children of light….”

Children of Light #1

Sunday, August 25, 2019

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them” (John 12:36 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is one of three instances of the expression “children of light” in the Bible. What is the significance of this title?

We move on to the second occurrence, Ephesians 5:8: “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:….” The last appearance is in 1 Thessalonians 5:5: “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” We will start with the context of today’s Scripture, and return to these later.

“[34] The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man? [35] Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. [36] While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.

“[37] But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: [38] That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? [39] Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, [40] He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. [41] These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.”

John chapter 12 opens with six days before Passover (verse 1), meaning the Lord has less than one week to live. He has conducted His earthly ministry for three years now. Unfortunately, the Holy Spirit through John reports that Israel has overwhelmingly disregarded her Messiah….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What are ‘vanities’ in Scripture?

Be a Grace Lifer!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

“…God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:3,4 KJV).

Here is God’s twofold will for all people!

Today’s Scripture sits in a context often overlooked: “[3]… God our Saviour; [4] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. [5] For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; [6] Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. [7] Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not; ) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.” Millions upon millions upon millions constantly ask, “What is God’s will for me?” How sad—how truly sad it is (!)—that they ignore this passage!

Through the Apostle Paul’s ministry and message, we learn that the Lord Jesus Christ died not only to save Israel from her sins (Isaiah 53:8; Matthew 20:28; Matthew 26:28), but He died to save us from our sins too. However, it was not until Paul that Almighty God revealed to the whole world the fact that Christ “gave himself a ransom for all.” “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). Here is God’s grace, what He has done for us through Calvary’s finished crosswork!

Firstly, Father God wants each and every one of us to be “saved,” spiritually healed from sin’s effects, delivered from Hell and the Lake of Fire (sin’s eternal penalty!). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). We thus become a Christian. Secondly, God desires us to “come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Why did He save us from sin and Hell? He gave us His written Word—the Holy Bible—to tell us. If we “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), then we will “come unto the knowledge of the truth.” As we read Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, we will learn how God’s grace can transform us unto people “zealous of good works” (Titus 2:11-14; Ephesians 2:8-10). Christ’s very life becomes our very life—the grace life! 🙂

Brethren, these past 7 studies are our “Original 7 Devotionals” expanded for the sixth time. We are now ready for our seventh 500-devotional unit, a much higher plane of doctrine!

Meet Your Apostle Paul!

Friday, August 23, 2019

For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office (Romans 11:13 KJV).

Here is God’s spokesman to you and me today—Paul!

Today’s Scripture is a little-known verse of prime importance. Where in the Bible do we discover God’s will for us today? After all, the Scriptures are a collection of 66 Books written over a period of nearly 1,600 years. Surely, it is all God’s Word, but are we to follow every single verse? Since the Holy Spirit used the Apostle Paul to tell us to “study… rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), He also employed Paul to instruct us how to do it.

A “dispensation” is simply a specific set of instructions God gives to man for a particular time for man’s faith and obedience. The resurrected, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ directly committed to the Apostle Paul one such group of Divine revelations—“the Dispensation of the Grace of God” (Ephesians 3:1,2).

Read today’s Scripture in context: “[11] I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. [12] Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? [13] For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: [14] If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.”

In light of Israel’s (temporary) national and spiritual fall, the Lord saved and commissioned the Apostle Paul in Acts chapter 9. The Book of Acts records Israel’s fall and diminishing, the culmination of her unbelief toward Messiah Jesus. For now, God’s Word is going to the Gentiles without Israel and her prophetic program. In the 13 Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon, God the Holy Spirit describes what He is doing today. The words of Paul are actually “the commandments of the Lord,” His words to and will for us; nevertheless, if we prefer ignorance, we may have that instead (1 Corinthians 14:37,38).

Bible Q&A #640: “Why were the disciples discouraged from looking up in Acts chapter 1?

Learn Right Division!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).

Here is the key to understanding and enjoying the Bible!

Today’s Scripture sits in the context of false teachers and their method of Bible perversion: “[14] Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. [15] Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [16] But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. [17] And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; [18] Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.”

The only Scripture verse that exhorts us to “study” the Bible also tells us how to study it. We seek to be “approved unto God;” we absolutely do not seek any preacher’s approval, any theologian’s endorsement, or any denomination’s approval. If we “rightly divide the word of truth,” then we will have Almighty God’s blessing in our Bible study. However, a failure to “rightly divide” will result in “profane and vain babblings,” increasing to more “ungodliness” with respect to doctrine, and such error spreading like cancer or gangrene (destructive infection).

In verse 18, two false teachers claim “the resurrection is past already.” They have not “rightly divided the word of truth.” Rather than keeping “the Dispensation of the Grace of God” (Ephesians 3:2) separate from the rest of Scripture, they are combining the various instructions God gave to man through time. Instead of properly placing on the Bible timeline the resurrection event (Rapture) that terminates our dispensation, they have combined our dispensation with the subsequent dispensation. Like most today, they are not making proper divisions in Scripture.

Three main points we must understand are “time past,” “but now,” and “ages to come.” Read Ephesians 2:7 and verses 11-13. These markers help us to identify our location on the Bible timeline, leading us to “rightly divide the word of truth.” Will we recognize our Dispensation of Grace as distinct from other dispensations?