This month's Series looks at I John verse by verse.
Yesterday's post covered the first four verses of I John. We saw that John introduced his CORE POINT: Jesus is the Word of life that physically came to us from the Father.
John's CORE POINT (and this letter) began with "That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard..."
Today, we will look at John's explanation of what was the SPECIFIC message that was heard from Him who was from the beginning...
I JOHN 1:5
"5 And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."
Today we are going to cover one verse...but it is the MOST important verse in I John.
John stated a HUGE Doctrine in this one verse that has wide ranging implications...and most people ACTUALLY fight this Doctrine with their beliefs!
John writes that the message that his group heard from Jesus is:
God has NO DARKNESS IN HIM...AT ALL!
This is a subtle point: This verse is an ABSOLUTE. People don't deal well with absolutes. It is no wonder that most people ACTUALLY fight this Doctrine in their beliefs. The issue with absolutes is the implications are ALSO absolutes...and the flesh wants to avoid ALL absolutes. Don't believe me? Let's see how you handle the first implication of this verse:
God LACKS SOMETHING...HE LACKS DARKNESS!
Today, Calvinism is a major part of most believers' Doctrine. Most believer's state that God can do ANYTHING...including BAD things. They say this because they think that saying the OPPOSITE ("God CAN'T do something") is heretical and a sign of unbelief. They think they are saying something that "limits" God when they state that God CAN'T do something. ACTUALLY, John just showed us that saying God COULD do ANYTHING that involves "darkness" is WRONG.
This shouldn't be a surprise. The Bible says it is IMPOSSIBLE for God to lie. The Bible says God is eternal...this means it is IMPOSSIBLE for God to cease to exist. The Bible ACTUALLY says God is NOT ABLE to do things that involve DARKNESS!
Yet, MAN creates his own doctrine in an attempt to APPEAR good (CAUSE) and the result is a platitude about God being "sovereign" and "omnipotent" (EFFECT) that ACTUALLY disagrees with God's Word and introduces contradictions that make the Word and Will of God of NONE EFFECT.
John is saying God is full of LIGHT...and this is a GREAT THING...the BEST POSSIBLE thing!
However, it is an absolute and people think "absolutes" result in contradictions. Actually, absolutes resolve contradictions IF we consider we are wrong and take a multi-dimensional view...but both of these things REQUIRE us to think! The OPPOSITE of both of these things are PRIDE and PLATITUDES (superficial beliefs).
WHY do people want God to be able to do BAD THINGS? Why do people want God to have some darkness in Him?
When people experience things that are wrong and unjust, there are two possible causes to this: themselves or God.
If the person justifies God, he will blame himself. He will state that God is Right and Just...and anything short of that had to come from someplace other than God...because there is no darkness in God AT ALL.
However, people commit The Original Sin: they justify themselves. They desire a way that allows them NOT TO CONSIDER they could be wrong. (We saw that NOT CONSIDERING that you could be wrong is the definition of PRIDE.) So, they look to God as the source of darkness. They blame God for the wrong and unjust things...but then they don't want to APPEAR to be blaming God.
So, they state that God can do ANYTHING, even BAD THINGS, and we just can't understand it. They embrace the post-modern belief that there are no absolutes. This is a superficial platitude that denies the ability to understand or look deeper because things are OBSCURE (not absolute). These people intentionally OBSCURE the discussion.
Notice, REGARDLESS OF THEIR RATIONALIZATIONS, they have taken ALL of the blame off of themselves and placed it on God...then they attempt to alleviate their guilt by APPEARING to defend God...but they've really tried to rationalize WHY they don't have to think. The Brain Series showed us this pattern ACTUALLY damages the brain and can result in physical illness.
This is Calvinism. Most Calvinists want the benefit of not having to consider they are wrong AND not having to understand what they are stating. They embrace OBSCURITY. Most Calvinists realize that this belief results in contradictions throughout the Bible, so they tend to focus on a few verses that they can manipulate towards their belief...and literally ignore the rest of the Bible.
Calvinists tend to shut down discussion. They tend to focus on what other Calvinist's have written instead of what God's Word states. Most modern day Calvinists will NOT state their beliefs (attempting to live in OBSCURITY), while adamantly stating they are NOT a "five point Calvinist"...because that would mean they believe God made some people for the specific purpose of eternal punishment and there is NOTHING these people can do about it. Unfortunately, most Calvinists get very emotional and attempt to out talk others hoping they can wear out people who challenge their beliefs.
There are four endorsements on the back cover of Modeling God (three women and one man). The male endorser went to a church while he was living in New York City. After getting involved in "missional groups" (small groups), he found out the pastor is a Calvinist and they had everyone study a book by a Calvinist. All he did was ask questions. No one could answer his questions. When he was asked questions, he had answers and could use the Bible to back it up.
However, since he was so young, the pastor kicked him out of the church!...because a young person UNDERSTOOD and could EXPLAIN his beliefs while the pastor intentionally stayed OBSCURE in his explanations. Several of the negative reviews on the internet that have appeared concerning Modeling God are from people affiliated with (including a pastor of) this church. If you read the reviews, you will notice the follow the Calvinistic argument style...declare the opposition "obviously wrong" AND NOT be able to give a single factual example. The reviews wreak of OBSCURITY.
On this blog, we have seen Calvinism is NOT Biblical. For instance, the word "omnipotent" occurs once in the Bible and it means "the all-ruling"...NOT the "all-powerful". The word "sovereignty" does NOT occur in the Bible. We have seen that the definition of "sovereign" is "not answering to anyone". This does NOT mean "always right". However, God is ALWAYS Right AND doesn't answer to anyone...and THAT ought to be comforting to us.
I actually feel sorry for Calvinists because they are damaging their own brains AND actively attempting to damage others by embracing OBSCURITY. It has been my experience that most Calvinists know they don't understand Calvinism, yet they SUFFER under the delusion that a Calvinist author or teacher DOES understand Calvinism...and if they only worked harder they would eventually be smart enough to understand Calvinism too. We need to help these people avoid wasting years of their lives in OBSCURITY.
Unfortunately, believing in Calvinism REQUIRES a person to NOT be able to understand and explain Calvinism...believing in Calvinism REQUIRES a person to embrace OBSCURITY.
Let's get back to I John 1:5...
The KEY to this crucial verse is the word "light". John made a HUGE statement: "God is light". This is the MOST important verse from I John.
(Remember, the MOST often quoted verse from I John is another HUGE statement that is structured the SAME WAY: "God is love". The irony is that people don't understand the MOST often quoted verse from I John AND they don't KNOW about the MOST important verse from I John!)
"light" is Strong's #5457 phos - "from an obsol. phao (to shine or make manifest, espec. by rays; comp. 5316, 5346)"
It looks like the word for "light" comes from an obsolete word that relates to "manifest" and is associated with two other words. Notice that this "light" is ESPECIALLY delivered by "rays". In math, a ray is a line that has a beginning and no end. This "light" has a beginning (God is the cause) and no end (infinite effect). God Himself doesn't have a beginning because God is a line. Let's look at the two words that are associated with "light"...
Strong's #5316 phaino is the word we saw yesterday for "shine" AND was a root word for "manifest"!!!!
It looks like half the definition of "light" is tied to "manifest" and "shine". What is the meaning of the other half of "light"?
Strong's #5346 phemi - "prop. the same as the base of 5457 and 5316; to show or make known one's thoughts, i.e. speak or say:-affirm, say."
HALF of the word "light" that describes God is tied to MAKING KNOWN ONE'S THOUGHTS!
God is LIGHT. God DOES make KNOWN His thoughts! They have a beginning and an infinite effect.
Part of me wants to go on a rant about THOUGHTS...after all, we saw that THOUGHTS are made up of WORDS...Spiritual Warfare is COMPLETELY made up of THOUGHTS and WORDS...the Brain Series PROVED that God DOES want us to THINK: He wants us to THINK like Him, NOT like the flesh.
However, let's save time and space by recognizing the following two points:
1. If you are interested in learning the three years worth of information on this blog, DON'T start at the beginning of this blog. Begin with The Brain Series. Everything that came before the Brain Series was reference information. Read The Brain Series and click on links if you need background. Then progress straight through the blog until you get to the present day...EVERY Series that we have done since The Brain Series has only reinforced the revelatory nature of the Brain Series.
2. Rather than run with what we have learned about "light", it will probably be more efficient to determine what "darkness" means. After all, the best modeling occurs with absolutes. When we model, we either want perfection (OUGHT) or COMPLETE FAILURE...we don't want any data that is LUKEWARM.
So, what does "darkness" mean?...because WHATEVER it is, God doesn't have ANY of this.
"darkness" is Strong's #4653 skotia - "dimness, obscurity (lit. or fig.)"
God does NOT have any OBSCURITY in Him AT ALL. This means not only within God, but HOW He approaches us! God's Will is NOT for us to NOT have a clear understanding of God. God's Will is NOT for us to be OBSCURE when it comes to understanding God!
People who fight for God's Will to be that we don't have a clear understanding of God are stating that there is some darkness in God!
Notice, this does NOT mean that everyone INSTANTLY clearly understands God. It is up to us whether we WANT to clearly understand God and our actions PROVE this. However, there is NO PLACE in the Bible where it is God's Will for a person who WANTS to understand God and PROVES it in their actions to be PREVENTED BY GOD from understanding.
God's Will is for people to be in the LIGHT (understand clearly) and NOT in DARKNESS (OBSCURITY) when it comes to God.
If we are in OBSCURITY when it comes to God, then it is OUR fault and NOT God's BECAUSE we are ABLE to be in the LIGHT when it comes to understanding God.
ANYONE who teaches that God keeps people in OBSCURITY (darkness) who WANT to be in the LIGHT (understanding) is teaching a man-made doctrine that contradicts God's Word.
It would seem that teaching a generation of people that God has some darkness in Him, that we can't give an orthodox understanding of God, would result in God's Will NOT being done on earth as it is in Heaven. It would result in less godly effects being demonstrated by people...and the church OUGHT to go into "eclipse".
ACTUALLY, we already covered this very fact. We saw that ABOUT 40 YEARS ago, the church in America intentionally chose to go without an orthodox explanation of God! It was called, "The Godless Christianity Movement". Newsweek magazine did a cover story on this in April of this year. A secular magazine was able to explain to the church WHY it is currently in decline!..WHY the church is in DARKNESS.
The quote at the upper right of the front page of this blog from AW Tozer WARNS us that EVERYTIME the church goes into eclipse, it is the effect of not being able to answer the CORE QUESTION ("What is God like?") with the CORE POINT!
The reason WHY the church is in decline is DOCTRINE!...you know, the topic that most "believers" think is too boring to discuss.
The REASON people consider DOCTRINE to be boring is BECAUSE people DON'T understand DOCTRINE! People are in DARKNESS when it comes to DOCTRINE!
Jesus warned us that man's traditions make the Word of God of NONE EFFECT.
The people who APPEARED to represent God during Jesus' time but ACTUALLY taught man-made traditions were known as "The Pharisees". Do we have any Pharisees today?
LIGHT IN THE BIBLE
I have put together a small sample of Biblical passages referencing "light". The first one is from the Old Testament:
"13 Then was Daniel brought in before the king. The king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, who art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Judah?
14 I have heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in thee."
"light" is Strong's #5094 nehiyruw (Chald.) - "illumination, i.e. (fig.) wisdom:-light."
Even in the Old Testament, "light" referred to making Profitable THOUGHTS KNOWN...which is wisdom.
Let's look at New Testament examples with the realization these verses use Strong's #5457 (same as I John 1:5) which suggests making one's thoughts known...to affirm and say in order to bring clarity.
"14 Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all that are in the house.
16 Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
WOW!!! So THAT'S what it means to "let your light shine"...We ought to clearly make our thoughts known before men about God SO THAT men may see our good works and glorify God. Can you make your thoughts about God clearly known before others? Or are you in DARKNESS (OBSCURITY)?
"1 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart:
2 and he was transfigured before them; and his face did shine as the sun, and his garments became white as the light."
When Jesus was Transfigured, He essentially became FULL of LIGHT.
In yesterday's post, we look at how John's Gospel account began...we looked at the first five verses. Here are the next four verses...
"6 There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for witness, that he might bear witness of the light, that all might believe through him.
8 He was not the light, but came that he might bear witness of the light.
9 There was the true light, even the light which lighteth every man, coming into the world."
John is very consistent between his letter and his Gospel account.
Look at the MOST famous New Testament verse and what is stated after it...
"16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.
17 For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him.
18 He that believeth on him is not judged: he that believeth not hath been judged already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, lest his works should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth the truth cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, that they have been wrought in God."
The CORE POINT of the judgment that will come on unbelievers is: the light is come into the world, and men loved the DARKNESS rather than the light. Judgment is coming to those who CHOOSE OBSCURITY. It is the fault of the individual if they end up in hell because THEY chose to love the darkness instead of the light.
Did Jesus ever BLATANTLY declare Himself THE LIGHT?
"12 Again therefore Jesus spake unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life."
Jesus BLATANTLY stated HE is the light.
"1 And as he passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth.
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Rabbi, who sinned, this man, or his parents, that he should be born blind?
3 Jesus answered, Neither did this man sin, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
4 We must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
5 When I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
Again, Jesus BLATANTLY stating that while HE is in the world, HE is the light of the world. WHO is the light of the world NOW?
"44 And Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
45 And he that beholdeth me beholdeth him that sent me.
46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me may not abide in the darkness."
Jesus mentions people beholding him...just like I John 1:1-4! CLEARLY, John's CORE POINT in his letter is that: Jesus is the Word of life that physically came to us from the Father.
I John 1:5 is the MOST important verse in I John. John made an absolute statement on which the WHOLE of his philosophical explanation rests.
In fact, this ABSOLUTE statement is the KEY to understanding the next five verses of I John 1...because ALL FIVE VERSES are stated as "IF/THEN"...COMPLETELY DEPENDENT on this absolute statement being true.
Tomorrow, we will complete I John 1 by looking at all five IF/THEN verses.