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Thursday, October 4 2012
Who Lights Your Walk?
"Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness"
Many, if not most, people think of "bright and shining" as a reflection (no pun intended) of what is good, and much of the time it may well be good. But mere appearance is not a guarantee of good or evil, truth or deception. The old saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover" applies even more to people.
As stated by the apostle Paul in his second epistle to the Corinthians (see The Epistles: Second Corinthians), there are many who preach a "gospel" that is not the true Gospel.
"11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve [see The Birth Of The Bride] through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him." (2 Corinthians 11:3-4 KJV)
How is it that a false "gospel" can be preached, and believed, by so many people? Who is it that preaches a "gospel" that isn't the true Gospel? "False apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ." Why? Because "Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."
"11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ [see also The Messiah's Warning About Christian Charlatans]. 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 KJV)
"Gospel" is from an Old English word that means good news. The true Gospel is about the good news of the coming Kingdom of God (see What Happens After The Messiah Returns?). False "gospels" are accepted as "good news" too - a "tell us what we want to hear" message that is "uplifting" to human vanity. The prophet Isaiah wrote of it:
"30:9 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD [see Who Is The LORD?]: 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: 30:11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us." (Isaiah 30:9-11 KJV)
How can evil appear as light?
The English word "bright" originated from an old Anglo-Saxon word, beorht, which meant a clear shining, something that had pure light. "Brightness" is used to translate a number of different Hebrew words. The foremost of them in the Holy Scriptures is pronounced no-gawh; it means brilliant, full of light, shining intensely. Another, pronounced yif-fawh, means splendor, a quality that outshines the rest. Both of those apply to God, the Ultimate of Eternal Brightness, from Whom came all physical light at the time of Creation, when time itself began.
"1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness." (Genesis 1:3-4 KJV)
"God is light" (verse 5 below) and God "cannot lie" (Titus 1:2 KJV). Light and Truth, in God, are one.
"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. 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin [see Why Blood?].
"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee"
God created the angel named Lucifer (which means Light Bringer) sinless, bright in appearance and highly intelligent (the reason why intelligent is called "bright"), but he became morally foul and contaminated when he "corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness" (Ezekiel 28:17 KJV). Lucifer thereafter became known as Satan, a Hebrew word that means accuser. Although Satan remains bright in appearance (see Who's Hiding On Your Wall?), his mind has become filled with the darkness of evil thoughts - the opposite of, and the opposition to, the Truth in the Light. It's the reason that someone can be very "bright" but also be very evil, if they are Satanic in attitude and behavior. No matter how good it sounds and appears, and regardless of how self-righteous it may make people feel, if it violates the Word of God, it's evil (see What Does Word of God Mean To You?).
"28:13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 28:15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 28:16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 28:17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee." (Ezekiel 28:13-17 KJV)
Humans have been influenced by Satan's evil brightness right from the Garden of Eden. Under Satan's enticement, humanity became sinners by turning from God's Genuine Truth to their own false concocted "truth" - all sorts of "shiny" things and people (the most popular human idol being the self) that have been made into idols. Like Satan himself, that sort of glitter gives off darkness, not true light. It will be extinguished upon Christ's return, for "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."
"31:26 If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; 31:27 And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: 31:28 This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above." (Job 31:26-28 KJV)
Repentance is about turning from all of the things of the carnal world, that only seem bright, to the Way of God that truly is bright. "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee" becomes a way of life that eventually all the world will see (see The Constitution Of The Kingdom Of God).
"60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. 60:2 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. 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising." (Isaiah 60:1-3 KJV)
God is Light. The first created in God's own image was the Son of God, "being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person."
"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 [see What Happened When The Messiah Arrived In Heaven?], 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 first harvest of the children of God will occur on the day of Christ's return (see The Harvest Prophecies). They too will from that day "shine as the brightness of the firmament."
"12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." (Daniel 12:1-3 KJV)
Fact Finder: (a) How is it that Satan's activities are not that of creating evil, but rather that of perverting what was created good? (b) When will Satan be stopped?
This Day In History, October 4
610: Heraclius became Byzantine Emperor at Constantinople after overthrowing Emperor Phocas. Constantinople was named after Emperor Constantine, the creator of the Church of Rome (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad)
1511: The formation of the "Holy League" of Ferdinand II of Aragon, the Papal States and the Republic of Venice against France.
1535 The first complete English-language Bible was produced by printer Miles Coverdale.
1582: The Gregorian calendar was ordered into use by Pope Gregory XIII. That year, to correct the season error accumulated by the Julian calendar (named after Julius Caesar), October 4 was to be followed by October 15. The order of the days of the week were not affected, but October 5 to 14 "did not happen" that year. Roman Catholic countries accepted the change, but Britain and its North American colonies did not accept the new Gregorian calendar for another 2 centuries, and Russia did not accept it until 1917. Today, the Gregorian calendar is used over most of the world (see Pope Gregory's Calendar).
1795: Napoleon Bonaparte rose to national prominence with his famous "Whiff of Grapeshot" - using cannon loaded with grapeshot ("a cluster of small projectiles fired together from a cannon to produce a hail of shot") to put down counter-revolutionary rioters at the French Legislature.
1824: Mexico adopted a new constitution and became a federal republic.
1830: Belgium became an independent nation apart from the Netherlands.
1853: After Russia refused to withdraw from the Danubian principalities, Turkey (i.e. the Ottoman Empire; listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) declared war, thus starting the Crimean War; Russia against Turkey, England, France, and Sardinia. The war lasted 3 years.
1874: To stop further genocide of his defeated people on the vast plains that they had freely lived on for many centuries before the Europeans came, Kiowa war chief Santanta, known as "the Orator of the Plains," surrendered in Darlington, Texas. Contrary to the political surrender agreement, Santanta was then sent to a penitentiary at Huntsville where he was imprisoned with common criminals and forced to work in road crews - thereafter spending his days, in chains, looking out to the open prairie that once was his homeland; he committed suicide in the prison 4 years later.
1883: The famous Orient Express train went into service.
1914: The first German Zeppelin raids on London (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1918: Boris III took over as Czar of Bulgaria after Ferdinand abdicated.
1920: The first successful airplane flight across Canada was made by Robert Leckie and 4 others. Total flying time was 45 hours and 20 minutes to cover the 3,410 miles (5,490 kilometers).
1930: A revolution began in Brazil which lasted into November, when Getulio Vargas became president.
1940: Hitler of Germany (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) and Mussolini of Italy, and their foreign ministers, held a summit meeting in an armored train at the Brenner Pass.
1952: The first cardiac pacemaker was implanted.
1957: The official roll-out ceremony of the first supersonic CF-105 at the Avro Canada plant in Malton, Ontario. The Canadian designed and built fighter aircraft was the fastest fighter in the world at the time.
1957: The Russian Sputnik 1, the first man-made satellite, was launched, beginning the "space race."
1958: The first trans-Atlantic passenger jetliner service was begun by British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) with flights between London and New York.
1963: Hurricane Flora killed 6,000 people in Cuba and Haiti.
1965: Pope Paul VI became the first pope to visit the U.S. and address the United Nations.
1993: President Boris Yeltsin stopped a hardline Communist rebellion. After a 10 hour tank assault on the Russian parliament building, he fired Vice-President Alexander Rutskoi, and jailed other opposition leaders.