Beacon To Life

Before electronics and radio came along, lighthouses dotted the coasts of many islands and nations as a guide and warning to vessels. This earthly reality has a parallel in the spiritual realm that is far more important than the purposes of earthly lighthouses.
Beacon To Life
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2015 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

Right from the start (Genesis 1:3) light is mentioned in the Holy Bible and occurs around 236 times in many of its books, including The Revelation Of Jesus Christ, the last book. Light is mentioned seventy six times in the New Testament (NT), with the Gospel of John having the most with a total of sixteen occurrences.

And in many places in the Word of God light is contrasted with darkness, mainly spiritual darkness. We also see there are times there is God’s light, then there is satan’s {1} “light,” 2 Corinthians 11:14  “. . . for satan himself is transformed

into an angel of light.” We will touch on satan’s light later but in this message we want to emphasize God’s light. 

In fact, God is light - 1 John 1:b -- “. . . God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” By the Holy Spirit John equates this light with the Word (logos) of God, Christ, in John 1:1-9. So it is with good reason Christ makes the declaration He does in John 8:12, “. . . I am the light of the world: He that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Before I continue, and in the context of what has just been written, I feel from God the need to mention Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Jewish Holy Temple. Around 167 BC this second Temple in Jerusalem was looted by Syrian forces and its services stopped. Judaism was outlawed. In 167 BC Antiochus IV Epiphanes ordered an altar to Zeus erected in the Temple, banned circumcision, and ordered pigs to be sacrificed at the altar of the Temple. Antiochus was a foreshadow of the coming Beast who is also called The Antichrist.

As a result, Mattathias, a Jewish priest, and his five sons Jochanan, Simeon, Eleazar, Jonathan, and Judah led a rebellion against Antiochus. Mattathias killed a Jew who wanted to comply with Antiochus's order to sacrifice to Zeus and also killed the official who was present. After Mattathias had died Judah took became the leader of the revolt and by 165 BC victory was gained over Syria. The Temple was then cleansed and rededicated. 

Hanukkah is sometimes called the Festival of Lights because Hanukkah is observed, in part, by the kindling of the lights of a nine-branched menorah or “hanukiah,” one at a time, an additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight for the final night. “Hanukkah became more widely celebrated beginning from the 1970s, when Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson called for public awareness and observance of the festival and encouraged the lighting of public menorahs.” {2} I find that interesting because there was somewhat of a revival on the U.S. East Coast in the early 70s.

With all of this let us consider Christ, the Light of the world and His statement in John 8:12. From that verse we will see we need to take action in the following four ways that we may inherit and enjoy Eternal Life.

I. Behold The Light

“ . . . I am the light of the world: . . .”

Jesus is saying that. Do you believe Him? In fact, as noted, the verses of John 1:1-9 and elsewhere attest to that fact. One does well to believe Him, not only with their mind but with their entire being, so much so that they fully surrender to Him and permit Him to live through them in such a way that His good works are produced in their life.

Truly trusting Christ brings us out from the kingdom of darkness. Matthew 4:16 notes the fulfillment by Christ of Isaiah 9:2 when it quotes the ancient passage as “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.”

The great love God has for all people comes to mind when I read Christ stating He is the Light of the world. I must think of one of the most famous passages of Holy Scripture, John 3:16. I also must think of the fact that God is not willing anyone should perish, but desires all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

II. Be Sane

“. . . he that follows Me . . .”

Satan prefers that our minds be besieged with worldly cares, worldly ways, and worldly thinking. This is one reason why a person’s mind is renovated by the Holy Spirit when they surrender to Christ (Romans 12:1-3). Those that do not truly trust Christ to some degree are in a state of spiritual insanity for no one in “their right mind” would want to be in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14-15) for eternity.

Near the beginning of this article it was stated there is God’s light, but then there is satan’s “light.” On this, let us consider what Christ said as recorded in Matthew 6:22-24 (YLT*), “The lamp of the body is the eye, if, therefore, your eye may be perfect, all your body shall be enlightened, 23  but if your eye may be evil, all your body shall be dark; if, therefore, the light that is in you is darkness —  how great is that darkness! 24  No one is able to serve two lords, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to the one, and despise the other; you are not able to serve both God and Mammon.”

Young renders the Greek as saying “. . .  if,  . . . , your eye may be perfect,” because the ancient language gives a sense of spiritual wholeness.” With that, it is good to remember that the healings Christ performed were also a representation of truth in the spiritual realm. His healing of blind people represents that until we truly come to Christ we are blind to God’s truth.

Anyone who is not truly dedicated to Christ is open to, and is influenced by, the ways of the world which are directed by the powers of darkness. For example, when I was a Roman


Catholic or pantheist I thought I was right with God. However, my spiritual eyes were opened when I no longer embraced a religion or a philosophy and by grace surrendered to Christ, the Truth and the Light of the world.

III. Be Secure

“. . . shall not walk in darkness, . . .”

There are many pitfalls for those who remain outside of Christ, and many times when one falls into a spiritual pit they do not even realize it! There are many snares and traps laid by the enemy. Again, thinking of the years before I surrendered to Christ there were times I dabbled in the paranormal realm. One thing I did was to try to “soul walk.” However, I immediately stopped that after being in a trance and hearing a most wicked laugh. I really had to force myself out of that trance. Would I become demon possessed if I had continued?

Of course, others outside of Christ meet with different dangers. Someone’s mind might be greatly exalted with pride and self confidence after a long period of successes only to be later “shot down” due to a single failure, debilitating disease, or some other cause. Other things might be more subtle, like a person telling so many lies that they believe those lies themselves and later meet with disaster.

Christ, though, is a beacon to the world, that Lighthouse that points out perils ahead and, if we accept His light, guides one to the blessing of Eternal Life. Sure, when someone surrenders to Christ they still make mistakes at times, but if they continue in Christ, permitting themselves to grow in Him and through Him, they will tend to have less errors on the way.

Walking in darkness can be hazardous, dangerous, and deadly. I am sure if you wanted to descend a flight of steps at night that you would prefer to have a light on. How much more in the spiritual realm where any error can bring about an eternal agony? It is much better to be in, and remain in, Christ. It is written (Psalm 36:9), “For with You is the fountain of life: in Your light shall we see light,” and (Psalm 119:105), “Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

IV. Be Satisfied  

“. . . but shall have the light of life."

It bears repeating that there is more than one word in the Greek for life, because the one used here translated as “life” is “zoe.” {3} To be brief, I contrast “zoe” with another NT Greek word, “bios,” and point out that “bios” can be considered as simple every day existence whereas “zoe,” among other things, speaks of life full of zest and purpose -- absolute fulness of life. Christ, the beacon to life, on the sermon on the mount encouraged His hearers to not be overly concerned with bios, but instead possess godly zoe.

Every true Christian can learn to avoid despair, depression, monotony, and more because the zoe that God gives always gives purpose to life with a promise of blessing, here and for all eternity. One receives true fulfillment in life that does not have to fade away.

Best of all, those that remain in Christ retain Eternal Life (zoe). But it all begins with a full surrender to Christ, God’s only beacon (John 14:6) and the Light of the world. Only in Christ can we please God. Those that stay in Christ truly live forever. 

And here is another interesting fact. Though Christ said He was the Light of the World, He also said that His disciples, then and present, are a light to the world (Matthew 5:14). If we truly know Christ then may our light draw multitudes to Him for His honor and glory. 

Notes:

{1} Not capitalized on purpose. Experts Column gives me the freedom to express myself in that way.

{2} https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanukkah

{3} From an electronic version of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong incorporated in the Online Bible program, and so throughout the article whenever the ancient language is referred to and no other authority is cited.

This article was in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by January 25, 2016 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M387 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the 1769 Authorized Version with spelling of some words updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. An * next to the abbreviation for another translation or version indicates the same for the text presented.

Not responsible for lead picture after date of publication. Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Last updated on 23-07-2016 90 1

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  • nbillett  28-12-2016
    One begins to be an apostle or at least to cooperate with Christ when one looks for something more than performing good works for the benefit of the people, when one feels responsible for people: fisher of people.
    reply 0
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