Related collections and offers
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)|
Read an Excerpt
... And Five Were Foolish
By Mike Gorrie
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2015 Dr. Mike Gorrie B.Th., D.D.
All rights reserved.
The nature and properties of light
In order to best understand the phrase walking in the light, let us first briefly consider the nature and properties of light.
Light plays a vital role in our daily lives. It is the basis of the technology that allows computers and telephones to be connected to one another over fibre-optic cables. But diffused light has limited impact, however when light is focused like a laser, it can cut through steel.
Light to the human eye is responsible for the sense of sight.
Just as science experiments with light, and physics defines its properties, so the scriptures are replete with references to light in a figurative and symbolic sense.
With well over two hundred and fifty references to light in the Old and New Testaments, God must have had a special message in mind to impart to His creation. The unifying thread woven throughout the Bible is: "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
John offsets this truth by revealing the fallen nature of man, and his natural bent towards sin, when he writes:
"And this is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." (John 3:19) KJV
What's the remedy? - Jesus boldly declares: "I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness." (John 12:46) NKJV.
Jesus was the One who brought the true knowledge of God to the world and is appropriately referred to by John as - "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." (John 1:4) NKJV
As scripture pictures Christ as the life and light of men, there is not a single person upon the face of the earth who is outside of God's love and deprived of His light. John made this abundantly clear when he penned these inspired words:
"That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world." (John 1:9) NKJV
The source of Light
In Genesis 1:3 we read, "Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
The Psalmist David describes the Lord his God as – 'clothed with honour and majesty, and who covers Himself with light, as with a garment.' (Psalm 104:1,2)NKJV
The prophet Isaiah speaks of God as saying, "I am the Lord, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness." (Isaiah 45:6,7) NKJV
Then Jesus triumphantly walks onto the stage of life as the image of God, and reflects the light of the Creator by claiming - "... I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." (John 8:12) NKJV
He repeats this claim again in John 12:46 by saying, "I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness." NKJV
The Apostle John sums it all up with these cryptic words, "This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5) NKJV
As we in loving obedience submit to, and walk in this light, we then become light-bearers ourselves and are called, "children of light." (see Ephesians 5:8)
Light is the appropriate symbol of spiritual illumination and conviction imparted by Christ through the Holy Spirit.
So the light that we must walk in is the Lord's light.
Isaiah 2:5 puts it this way: "O house of Jacob, come and let us walk in the light of the Lord." (NKJV)
The Lord's light is the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong. It's the progressive ability to discern what is flesh and what is spirit, it's the revealed knowledge of righteousness. This is the light that we must walk in.
The Psalmist said it this way:
"The life-giving fountain belongs to you, and your light gives light to each of us." (Psalm 36:9) Contemporary English Version.
As God, through His Spirit brings personal conviction to each one of us, it becomes our responsibility to walk in the revelation of that light. It is a lamp, by means of which the Light of Life shines upon our path to give meaning and understanding in our walk with God. Jesus sharpens the definition of light with respect to the eyes when He says:
"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." But the Lord adds these challenging words at the end of the verse as a kind of warning - "If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:22,23) KJV
It is a frightening thought to comprehend, that it is quite possible that what we regarded as light could actually turn out to be darkness in the end. This indeed would have been a deceptive light which could have only come from Satan who masquerades as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
We are warned therefore to be vigilant and continually on our guard.
Since darkness is the symbol of sin and disobedience to the Spirit's revelation, by contrast then, light is the figure of obedience, holiness and purity'
This light then, is an inner light of conscience to the soul of every believer. As we, in obedience, walk in this light, as it is progressively revealed to us, it sensitises our spirits, and one step in the right direction paves the way for another.
Hebrews describes how mature Christians constantly practice training their minds to be sensitive in discerning truth from error.
The writer says: "....those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practise to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law."
(Hebrews 5:14) The Amplified New Testament.
A piercing question
The piercing question that all believers have to answer with an honest heart, is not - "Are you a Christian?" or "Have you accepted Christ as your personal Saviour?" No! - But rather this: "Since coming to Christ, have you been practising the art of daily "walking in the light?" And this walk requires being obedient to your God-given conscience in every area that the Spirit may have revealed to you. We need to meet this question head on, for after all, the Bible clearly teaches that not everyone who believes is going to be saved in the end. It is my firm conviction that only those Believers who by the Spirit, have diligently applied themselves and followed on to become true disciples will be saved. It's only by living in obedience and consistently walking in the light, (and dying in the light), that we will finally enter the Kingdom. It requires far more than just accepting Jesus as personal Saviour.
It's not someone else's light that we are required to walk in, but to - "walk in the light of the Lord." As God through the Holy Spirit reveals light to us in our own personal walk with Him, we are to be obedient to that light.
It is important to note that with added light, comes added responsibility. And thus the light that is not heeded to, brings added condemnation. Luke 12:47,48 makes this abundantly clear.
"That servant who knew his master's will but did not get ready or do what his master asked will receive a severe beating.
But the one who did not know his master's will and did things worthy of punishment will receive a light beating.
From everyone who has been given much, much will be required, and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked." (New English Translation)
The Ancient Greeks first recognised that light rays experience refraction or bending when they enter some denser medium such as glass or water.
The glass or water are thicker than air and thus when the light rays pass through them, they slow down. This slowing down of the rays, causes it to change direction, which is known as refraction or bending.
Making a spiritual application here: when the Holy Spirit chooses to reveal a truth to a believer, the light travels swiftly and brings conviction. However, if the light that is coming into the believer's heart is resisted, being too hard to follow, then in a sense, this slowing down of the the light, will cause it to refract. If this resistance to the light is continued, or the Believer distorts or tries to bend the truth, it will finally lead to deception.
The main function of the Holy Spirit, apart from being the Comforter, is to convict and lead into truth. If this truth is unwelcomed and restricted, this represents a quenching of the Spirit which Paul warns against in 1 Thessalonians 5:19.
Sadly many Christians are guilty of refraction – bending or distorting the truth because it does not fit in with their preferred lifestyle.
Then lastly. There is the Law of Reflection.
Light is known to behave in a very predictable manner. Consider a ray of light approaching and reflecting off a flat mirror. As we were made in the image of God, everyone of His sons and daughters ought to reflect the image of the heavenly.
2 Corinthians 3:18 in the Living Bible describes it this way: "But we Christians have no veil over our faces; we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him."
Through the Fall we lost the image of God. Through redemption we can regain it.
Through God's grace, the Law of Refraction (a bending or distorting of the image), is replaced by The Law of Reflection!
One of the teachings of Rabbinic literature records that the Emperor Hadrian once said to R. Joshua b. Chananya:
'I desire to behold your God!' 'That is an impossibility,' he replied. The Emperor persisted; so the Rabbi bade him face the sun, it being the time of the summer solstice, and said 'Gaze at that'. 'I cannot', he answered. Whereupon the Rabbi exclaimed: 'You admit that you are unable to look at the sun, which is only one of the attendants upon the Holy One, blessed be He. How much more beyond your power must it be to look at God Himself!' (Chul.59b et seq. Everyman's Talmud, by Rev. Dr A. Cohen Page 3)
It's a pity that the Emperor didn't look upon 'the Son' and become one of His 'attendants'. If he had, history would have recorded "another Moses" whose face shone with the glory of God as he came down the mountain. (Exodus 34:29)
Emperor Hadrian's was Refracted light when it quite easily could have become Reflected light!CHAPTER 2
Beware of Deception
So often the enemy hides the clever manipulation of deceiving spirits in a theological truth. Now a mere knowledge of the scriptures, whether profoundly deep or not, is no match for the devil's cunning.
Irenaeus (130-202A.D.) who was an early Church Father and disciple of Polycarp, warned about error and deception even in his day.
" Error, indeed is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced (ridiculous as the expression may seem) more true than truth itself."
Only by living out a life of obedience to Christ, by walking in the light, will one be safeguarded against deception. This is vitally important, so let me repeat it. Mere knowledge of the Scriptures is insufficient insulation against deception!
Clearly stated, it boils down to this: You cannot live crooked and think straight! If you don't live right you will open yourself up to deception, it is inevitable!
The devil is a legalist – he knows his rights. If you play on his turf and continue to do so, even if it is ever so slightly, he will exercise his legal rights and subtly control your life.
Sin, if continued in, not only blinds the eyes, but will ultimately deceive the heart.
Deliberate persistence on a sinful course after having been enlightened, does not stand atoned for, no, not even by the cross of Christ. This may come as a shock to many readers, but it is validated by the Word of God in the Book of Hebrews. Notice what it says:
"If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sin is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God." (Hebrews 10:26,27) NIV
I wonder whether this strikes a chord in your heart? If so, don't leave it a day longer, do something about it, and do it now!
Repent of what has taken you out of the light. Ask God's forgiveness and His ability to empower you with His Holy Spirit to get back into the light.
In his Epistle to the twelve tribes scattered abroad, James emphasises the fact that hearing and not doing what you hear only deceives the hearers – Yes, even in the lives of Christians.
"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." (James 1:22) NKJV (Authors emphasis)
Yes it is possible to deceive yourself, as strange as it may seem. And do you know what?
The longer a man is wrong, the more he thinks he's right!
Dr Adam Clark says of this verse in James:
"They had reasoned themselves into a state of carnal security, and the object of St James is, to awake them out of their sleep." (Annotations on James 1:22 KJV Bible)
Freedom comes, when you step into the place where the enemy cannot follow – And that place is total transparency with God!
And that involves walking in the light!
A.W. Pink that late Christian author, scholar and expository Bible teacher, made this heart-searching observation:
"Satan is deceiving many today by leading them to suppose that they are savingly trusting in 'the finished work' of Christ, while their hearts remain unchanged and self still rules their lives." (Profiting from the Word by A.W. Pink page 69)
The grave is no dry-cleaning depot. If the saint does not hate and endeavour to forsake all sin in this life and love holiness before death, then he certainly will not aspire to do so afterwards! The Bible tells us: "In the place where the tree falls, there it will lie" (Ecclesiastes 11:3) NKJV
At justification by faith, righteousness is imputed (that is, put to your account without any effort on your behalf), but after that it must be imparted by righteous living. Being freed from the penalty of having lived the wrong way is through repentance, forgiveness and righteousness imputed. By natural progression then, what follows is now being given the will and the power to live the right way. This gives birth to righteousness imparted!
Jesus didn't come to earth just to show us what God can do, but to show us through His Spirit what we can do.
This is adequately proved by Peter when he writes to believers to give them a well-balanced understanding of what would be required of them if they aspired to inherit the new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
".....You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming........
So then dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him." (2 Peter 3:11-14)NIV
Did you get that? "Spotless, blameless and at peace with Him" - Now that's a high calling, but absolutely necessary if we want to be part of the New Jerusalem. Once the seed of life has been planted in the human heart, it must be carefully cultivated and watered daily by walking in the light. If it is not attended to it will not continue to grow. And if it does not grow, it will not bear fruit, and if it does not bear fruit it will be cut down and discarded. Hear these words from the lips of Jesus:
"Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He (the Father) takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit." Jesus goes on to say that if any person does not abide in Him and bear fruit, then: ".......he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned." (John 15:2,6) NKJV. See also Luke 13:6-9.
Living holy lives by being sensitive to the Holy Spirit is part of the process of sanctification, which is imperative for salvation. As we daily practice walking in the light, God gently and lovingly fulfils His side and progressively sanctifies our lives.
That great preacher and prolific writer C.H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) had this to say about holiness in one of the many sermons that he preached:
"You will not gain holiness by standing still. Nobody ever grew holy without consenting, desiring and agonising to be holy. Sin will grow without sowing, but holiness needs cultivation. Follow it, it will not run after you...." (C.H. Spurgeon – preached about 1865)
Dr Adam Clarke in his annotations (written in the 1800's) put it well when he had this to say about the word 'sanctify':
... And Five Were Foolish
1) It signifies to consecrate, to separate from earth and common use, and to devote or dedicate to God and His service.
2) It signifies to make holy or pure.
Many talk much and indeed well, of what Christ has done for us: but how little is spoken of what He is to do in us! And yet all that He has done for us is in reference to what He is to do in us......... that He might bind the strong man armed - take away the armour in which he trusted, wash the polluted heart, destroy every foul and abominable desire, all tormenting and unholy tempers; that He might make the heart His throne, fill the soul with His light, power and life; and in a word 'destroy the works of the devil.'
Excerpted from ... And Five Were Foolish by Mike Gorrie. Copyright © 2015 Dr. Mike Gorrie B.Th., D.D.. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsDedication and Special Thanks, ix,
Chapter 1 The nature and properties of light, 1,
Chapter 2 Beware of Deception, 7,
Chapter 3 Scratching below the surface of Repentance, 12,
Chapter 4 Resting in the finished work!, 16,
Chapter 5 "Saved by the Blood brother!?", 21,
Chapter 6 Misconceptions about Biblical Salvation, 33,
Chapter 7 How Walking in the light all unfolds, 46,
Chapter 8 Response to the light is progressive, 52,
Chapter 9 Those who sin deliberately after receiving light!, 63,
Chapter 10 Sin need never again be your master!, 72,
Chapter 11 Another look at four important words:, 81,
Chapter 12 Reflections on the Broad Way and the Narrow Way, 99,
Chapter 13 Re-Enter the stage George!, 106,
Chapter 14 The anecdote of boiling a frog!, 114,
Chapter 15 Walking in the light and Restitution, 118,
Chapter 16 True life stories of those who faced and those who did not face the challenge to walk in the light!, 127,
Books and Authors cited, 147,