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Friday, May 31 2013
When Light Shines Upon The Truth
"He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light"
Jesus of Nazareth was the Word of God born as a man (see What Does Word of God Mean To You? and The Kingdom Of The LORD God). "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men."
"1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
The Messiah called John the Baptist the greatest prophet (see The Ministries Of The Two Greatest Prophets) because he was a prophet of that Light, not of a man. "He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light."
"1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 1:7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 1:8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." (John 1:6-9 KJV)
The Messiah was not recognized by those who were yet in the "dark" that they had created for themselves - a situation that applies as much to Christian-professing people today as it did to the people of Judaism back then (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism and Why Call Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say?).
"1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:10-13 KJV)
Just as physical light is needed to read a word, Spiritual Light is needed to recognize the Word (see The Spirit And The Flesh).
"1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:14 KJV)
As a man, the Messiah did not qualify his Greatness because He was a man, but because He was the Light that guides humans to God (see What Happened When The Messiah Arrived In Heaven?).
"5:31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. 5:32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.
Those who conspired against Him, which included the about-to-repent Pharisee Nicodemus (see What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16? and Joseph and Nicodemus: Making A Stand) and the Pharisee Saul, the future apostle Paul (see the Fact Finder question below) were men in darkness, blinded by the Light that was too bright for them, at first, until they were given the opportunity to repent.
"8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Notice the Messiah's emphasis on the Devil's power over them still at that point (again, keep in mind that among those Christ-haters was the future apostle Paul).
"8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 8:45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. 8:46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? 8:47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God." (John 8:42-47 KJV)
The famous "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's" was a prime example how the world as it is uses misapplied truth to attack truth.
"22:15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. 22:16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. 22:17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
Nevertheless, Truth was the victor. The return of the Messiah will bring a world of Light (Revelation 21:22-27).
"14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
Fact Finder: How do we know that many of the religious authorities who conspired to kill the Messiah were deceived, not hopelessly evil? For example, who among the Pharisees became one of the greatest Christians of all time?
This Day In History, May 31
1279 BC: Rameses II ("Rameses The Great") became Pharaoh of Egypt.
455: Roman Emperor Petronius Maximus was stoned to death by a mob while fleeing Rome.
526: In one of the deadliest seismic events on record, an earthquake at Antioch, Turkey, killed 250,000 people.
1223: The Battle of the Kalka River; Genghis Khan's Mongol army defeated the Kievan Rus and Cumans.
1433: Pope Eugenius IV crowned Sigismund as Holy Roman Emperor (see Emperors and Popes).
1578: Martin Frobisher sailed from Harwich, England to the vast territory that became Canada. The bay that Frobisher explored is was named after him, Frobisher Bay.
1678: Lady Godiva rode naked through Coventry, England to protest high taxation. The people took part in the protest, agreeing not to look. All kept their promise except a certain individual named Tom - hence the origin of the term "Peeping Tom."
1859: Big Ben and the famous clock tower of the Houses of Parliament in London, began operating.
1866: The Fenian Invasion of Canada. John O'Neill led 850 invaders across the Niagara River at Buffalo, New York/Fort Erie, Ontario. After a firefight with Canadian militia and British regulars, they retreated back across the river.
1902: The Treaty of Vereeniging was signed in Pretoria to end the Boer War. Over 5,000 British troops and at least 4,000 Boers were killed in action.
1910: The Union of South Africa was founded.
1911: In Belfast, the White Star liner Titanic was launched. It sank on its maiden voyage 11 months later in April 1912.
1916: The Battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle of the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars). The British Fleet under the command of Sir John Jellicoe & Sir David Beatty engaged the Kaiserliche Marine under the command of Reinhard Scheer and Franz von Hipper.
1927: The last Ford "Model T" was manufactured, ending a production run of over 15 million vehicles.
1935: An earthquake at Quetta, Pakistan killed 40,000 people.
1942: During the Second World War, Japanese Navy submarines began attacks on Sydney, Australia.
1942: During the Second World War, German warplanes bombed Canterbury, England, causing severe damage to the Canterbury Cathedral.
1961: South Africa proclaimed itself a republic and left the British Commonwealth.
1974: Israel and Syria signed an agreement concerning Golan Heights.
1985: Over 40 tornadoes struck Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario, leaving 76 dead in the two countries.