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Tuesday, July 26 2011

The Brightness Of His Coming

The English word "light" originated from an old Anglo-Saxon word, leoht, which meant bright or shining. "Light" is used to translate the Hebrew word, pronounced oor, which also means bright, but moreover means the power to make something bright, as exemplified in the well-known verse "1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light" (Genesis 1:3 KJV). The familiar "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" also refers to that power. There is no darkness in God because darkness is powerless (like a light bulb with no electricity), while God isn't just "bright," He is the very creative energy source of everything, including light. The Spirit of God is the Power of God: "15:19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God" (Romans 15:19 KJV).

"1:5 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 KJV)

The Holy Scriptures God sent Jesus Christ, "the LORD God" (see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM'), to do the actual work of creation, including that "let there be light" (see Christ The Creator), setting the stage, in stages, for the Light of the Truth that defines His Church.

"1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." (Colossians 1:12-18 KJV)

The famous "transfiguration" event was a vision of the future Kingdom of God where Christ (as He also is now) is restored to a state not only of "light," but the "quickening" power to bring the light of eternal life to His people (church means people) who will then be transformed from a "church" to a Kingdom (see When And Where Your Eternal Life Will Begin).

"17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 17:2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 17:3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

17:4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

17:5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

17:6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 17:7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 17:8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only." (Matthew 17:1-8 KJV)

"To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God"

Jesus Christ presently sits in "the brightness of His glory" at the right hand of God. Notice that it's the "brightness" that is the ultimate fulfillment of the term "image of God," Who is Light.

Brightness

"1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1:1-3 KJV)

The conversion of the Pharisee Saul, later known as the apostle Paul (see also Was Paul Among Them?), on the road to Damascus also recorded how Christ looks now i.e. "there shined round about him a light from heaven" that identified Himself as "the Lord [i.e. the LORD God] said, I am Jesus."

"9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord?

And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 9:8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9:9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink." (Acts 9:1-9 KJV)

Paul later reiterated that experience with further information of the purpose of the specific ministry to the Gentiles that Paul was assigned i.e. "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God," while keeping in mind that Paul was a Jew, among many people of Judah, who didn't and couldn't see the Truth either until they were "enlightened" (see Paul's Blindness Lesson).

"26:12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. 26:14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

26:15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord?

And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. 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; 26:17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 26:18 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." (Acts 26:12-18 KJV)

The Messiah will return with Light ("24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" Matthew 24:27 KJV) that will give Light unto a dark world, but also incinerate the forces of evil, "whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming" (see The Lake Of Fire Into An Ocean Of Fire - When?).

"2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 KJV)

Fact Finder: When Christ was born, did He fulfill a prophecy about being a "Light to the world"?
See Why Did The Magi Come?


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This Day In History, July 26

920: Muslim forces defeated the combined armies of Leon and Navarre at the battle of Valdejunquera in Spain.

1309: Henry VII was recognized King of the Romans by Pope Clement V.

1469: The Battle of Edgecote Moor during the Wars of the Roses; the forces of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick against Edward IV of England.

1581: The Act of Abjuration (Dutch "Akte Van Verlating"), the declaration of Dutch independence from the rule of King Philip II of Spain.

1603: James VI of Scotland was crowned King James I of England. It was that King James that authorized an English translation of the Scriptures, first published in 1611 and known since as the "King James (or "Authorized") Version" of the Bible.

1759: The French relinquished Fort Ticonderoga in New York to the British under General Jeffrey Amherst.

1822: The Battle of Dervenakia began; forces of the Ottoman Empire (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) under Mahmud Dramali Pasha verses a Greek Revolutionary force under Theodoros Kolokotronis.

1847: Liberia became the first "independent republic of Africa." It was created by the U.S. government in an effort to get all black people in the U.S., including those born in the U.S., to move to Africa.

1858: Lionel Rothschild became the first (known) Jewish member to take his seat in the British House of Commons.

1886: William Gladstone was replaced by Lord Salisbury as Prime Minister of England.

1891: France annexed Tahiti.

1918: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), Britain's top war ace, Edward Mannock, was shot down by ground fire on the Western Front.

1947: U.S. President Harry Truman (the only human ever to order the detonation of nuclear weapons on another country i.e. the incineration of Hiroshima, and then Nagasaki, Japan in 1945) created the Central Intelligence Agency.

1952: King Farouk of Egypt abdicated and was ordered to leave the country, three days after a coup led by General Neguib.

1956: Egyptian President Nasser declared that Egypt had nationalized the Suez Canal Company, thus ending Western (i.e. U.S. and Britain) control 12 years ahead of the expiry date of the Suez concession; overnight, he became the hero of the Arab world.

1958: Prince Charles was proclaimed Prince of Wales by Queen Elizabeth.

1963: Syncom 2, the world's first geosynchronous ("marked by an orbit with a period of 24 hours so that a position in such an orbit is fixed with respect to the earth") satellite, was launched.

1974: Prime Minister Constantinos Karamanlis formed first Greek civil government after seven years of martial law.

2005: The first Space Shuttle launch after the Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry in 2003.





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