Darkness as Light
-- Part 1
light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be
single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine
eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If
therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great
is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate
the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the
one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Jesus in this parable said:
“The light of the body is the eye.” We could translate this first sentence to read:
Where your vision is, there is your enlightenment.
This thought is echoed
in Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there will
your heart be also.” The Bible tells us that as sure
as we can receive revelation from the Spirit of God, the
enemy can also come as an angel of light and give us revelation
according to our personal lusts for the things of the world
and for the aggrandizement of our flesh.
Jesus continues speaking in Matthew 6:22 “ . . .If
therefore thine eye be single thy whole body is full of
light.” We could translate this part of the verse
thusly: “If this is true, and you have a singleness
of vision – your whole being would be flooded with light.”
This is probably where most believers would
have liked Christ to have stopped. By itself this verse
would have qualified as a wonderful promise of God. “Where
your vision is, there is your enlightenment. And if this
is true and you have a singleness of vision -- you’re whole being would be flooded with
Contrary to current popular
opinion Christ was not in the habit of delivering feel-good
parables to either the Pharisees or His disciples. In this
parable Christ is speaking to his disciples on the subject
of “Spiritual Enlightenment” or “How to hear from God.”
There is no lack of the Logos or the Letter,
the sons of the Pharisees have seen to writing about every
jot and tittle. – Despite the efforts of man there indeed has
been a great famine of the hearing of “the word that proceedeth
out of the mouth of the Father.”
And this lack of hearing has brought forth great
death and great darkness and you can rest assured that great
judgment will follow.
Many in this day have trouble
hearing from God. This lack of hearing is not confined to
a few young charismatic believers a Christian Pop-preaching
would have us beleive. Far from it, this problem affects
spirit-filled elders, deacons, song leaders, and pastors
and teachers alike. These have permanently stunting their
walks, because of this lack of hearing for God.
And quite predictably they end up falling short of
the level of fruits that they had themselves had anticipated
in their lives.
I personally sat in a meeting where the
head of United Pentecostal denomination confessed to a congregation
that for as long as he has been a believer he has not known
how to pray, He then with quite some detail described his
struggle with that issue. For decades whenever he heard
that someone in his denomination was a man of prayer he
would invite them to preach in his church and put them up
in his house where he would watch them pray and then ask
questions of them. His conclusion to the audience was one
of a disillusioned man, because he never found what he was
looking for. Instead he said in a tired resigned tone of
voice “I then realized that I had known all along how to
I also personally know the President
of a Spirit-Filled Bible Collage. The man has openly told
me repeatedly over the years that he has had great trouble
hearing from God. Not only that but this man has now been
declared by some (mistakenly) an Apostle.
For as long as I have known him has been wholly dependant
upon the prayers of others and on the ability of others
to hear from God for him.
What Christ is suggesting in Matthew 6:22 is that there is a direct correlation
between one’s relationship or focus on God and their ability
to hear or walk in the Spirit.
spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the
inward parts of the belly. Even in the Old Testament
David knew something about this spiritual enlightenment
and the indwelling of God, What he is saying is that without
the candle of the Lord there can be no searching of our
then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they
have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? And
let me ask how shall they be sent except they hear from
This lack of having a singleness of vision
of God among believers today, and their lack of being flooded
with the light of God has been a growing problem not just
today but it has been growing for generations. And if we would tell the truth we would have
to say that it has grown to epidemic proportions in Christian
of being sent by God, all too many Fundamentalist, Evangelical,
Pentecostal and Charismatic preachers have arbitrarily decided
in themselves that they have the call of God in their life.
They then proceed
to run out in the ministry able to do not much more than
parrot other’s messages and mimic other’s ministries. And this problem
lack of hearing in these preachers compounds itself in the
harvest fields, when those that they win to Christ and teach
exhibit less of a firm and vital personal relationships
with God than their pastor, teacher or evangelist. Generationally
this breeds blinder and blinder disciples each a successive
degraded copy of the last.
And as we have already indicated that those who are
afflicted with this lack of hearing become the heads of
fellowships, teachers, and the leadership of entire
denominations Christ termed this malady: “The blind leading
the blind.” And of this Christ said: “Both shall fall into
Matthew 6:22 we find Jesus addressing this problem with singleness
of vision in his disciples. This is Spiritual Enlightenment
101. It’s a survey course so Jesus is not going to go too
deeply into the matter. He is more interested in introducing
the disciples to the tools of how to hear from God, that
they will be called upon to use in virtually every other
course He will teach them.
light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be
single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
Where your vision is, there
is your enlightenment. And if this is true and you have
a singleness if vision, you’re whole being would be flooded
So one of the first things that Christ
is telling his disciples is that their eye gates are very
important to their receiving spiritual enlightenment. Your
focus, what you gaze upon is going to become your teacher.
And again this could be a very good thing or a very bad
thing depending on where your focus is.
There is an old saying that: “If you love
something enough, that it will come to you and reveal you
all of its secrets.”
How many times have we heard
of scientists, reporters, generals and business people who
devote their entire lives to something and become a success,
a giant in their field? We can say the same of: sports players,
and actors. All
of these have a singleness of vision and learned over time
the secrets of their craft.
And yet for every captain of industry,
every scientific genius, every great general, every accomplished
sports superstar or every great actor there are 10,000 people
waiting in the wings with only a casual interest in the
matter – all of them wanting the fame, fortune, notoriety,
and stardom, but none willing to pay the price.
Corinthians 9:24-25 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the
prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth
for the mastery is temperate
in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible
crown; but we an incorruptible.
Temperance is an old English word. Webster’s Dictionary defines “Temperate” as: 1) Moderation in action, thought, or
feeling : RESTRAINT
2) a: A habitual moderation in the indulgence
of the appetites or passions b: moderation in or
abstinence from the use of intoxicating drink. (Note that
they mention restraint and abstinance but that these thoughts are no longer carried
in the definition.
In the early 1900’s there were
Christian temperance societies these groups preached against
alcohol and so the word came to mean an abstinence from
drinking alcohol --
These societies fell out of favor after the prohibition
was rescinded. And later during the 1960’s to the 1970’s
the word temperance was redefined to mean that when you
drank you would limit your intake, that when you smoked
it would be a few cigarettes a day
The word temperate in the Greek is: EGKRATEUETAI which can be translated:
stout, possessed of mastery, master of self, self-control
continence, temperance -- in other words disciplined.
The Greek word EGKRATEURAI is conveying
two ideas the first being a discipline to the art, which is studied – the second idea
is that singleness
of vision that will not allow one to be diverted from the
For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world,
and is departed unto Thessalonica;
We see in Demos that he did not have that
abstinence or restraint, Demos did not have that singleness
of vision, Demos had begun the race but was disqualified
and he left the field to go to Thessalonica where he could
live an undisciplined life, a life without abstinence
In our day and age we don’t have to go
to Thessalonica to feed the lust of our eyes and the lust
of our flesh we can now do it with the flick of a button.
And sad to say we can do it by any number of means,
with cable TV, satellite TV, a VCR, a CD player, a computer,
gaming systems, and of course the Internet. And through these we can partake and fellowship
with the world as never before, and indulge our every whim
I remind you now that Christ
warned his disciples that their eye gates are very important
that what they focused on – they would become partakers of and fellowship
with. What we gaze upon is going to become our teacher.
I also remind you that that
the fellowship of the world in at enmity with God.
And oddly enough Jesus didn’t
end this parable with a message of our having singleness
of vision and being. He could not end this lesson on a high
note because of the condition of his hearers.
The twelve disciples were indeed following
him – but they were corrupt. And I suppose that the disciples
believed for quite some time that by physically being followers
of Jesus – (and having given up many physical things to
do so) – that they had arrived spiritually. And this is
exactly the conceit that all too many born again Christians
and / or Spirit-filled Christians have had it seems generation
However our self-delusion is all the greater
in this day because physically we have given up little or
nothing to follow the Lord and we look at all the words
of the New Testament and claim them for our own. In other
words without giving up any of the physical things the disciples
gave up to literally follow Christ -- we expect to walk
in the words of the disciples.
Jesus continues now in: Matthew 6:23 But
if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.
The word “Evil” is a poor choice on the
part of the King James Version translator. The Greek word
that is translated “Evil” is PONEROS, which could
also be translated: wicked, bad, unsound, envious, or
covetous. With the understanding that the Greek word
“PONEROS” can be translated, as “Envious” or “Covetous” this verse suddenly is a lot weightier
than one would have thought with only a quick surface read.
But if thine eye be envious or covetous, thy whole body
shall be full of darkness.
In this verse we can now see that Jesus
wasted no time giving his disciples positive reinforcement
to help them make the right future choices. Instead of speaking
flowery platitudes and puffing up his hearers.
Christ immediately got right down to the
heart of the matter, He got down to his disciples corrupt
motivations for following Him, and their corrupt motivations
for wanting for receiving divine enlightenment, and their
corrupt motivations for wanting to hear from God.
Jesus is saying to his disciples that all
of them were spiritual beings, and as such they were all
made to receive divine enlightenment. And once they made
that divine, vital connection with God their being was going to be flooded with divine
light. However Jesus admonishes the disciples, the fact
that they were spiritual beings and that they had this God
created ability to receive enlightenment also posed a great
danger as well; namely that they can also hear the siren
call of other voices as well.
So Jesus is saying his disciples: Where
your heart is, where your focus is, you are going to hear
that voice. If your eye is single and focused on God you
will (in time) receive spiritual enlightenment from Him
and (in time) your being will be filled with light. But if you have an envious eye towards others, or a covetous eye
for the things of the world, the god of this world is only
too willing to provide (Immediately) for you all earthly
things you desire and then some. And with that hearing of
other voices will come revelation as what happened to Eve
in the Garden. The enemy is only too glad to help you see
why you should have those earthly things and explain why
you need even more earthly things. And in the day that you
shall do so, you shall be utterly corrupted, for every crevice
of your being is flooded with darkness.
It is the immediacy of the provender of the god of this world and the immediacy of the light
of darkness of the God of this world. (The tapes, the books,
the study notes, the commentaries and the like) that has
attracted believers like moths to the flame of corruption.
It is that drive for self-gratification and immediate
satisfaction that drives the Church of our day ministers
and laity alike. They
are in fact fathers and sons.
Jesus then continues with the following admonition: If therefore the
light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
These verses are a warning
that opening up your soul to receive spiritual enlightenment
can result in your being taken in by other voices that sing
their siren song for you to follow after them, for wealth
and riches, and to satisfy every envious and covetous desire
that you could have, and in so tasting of that fruit you
live Eve shall fill your being with darkness.
The lessons that Christ is teaching
his twelve disciples here is the underlying foundation of
the Gospel, and it was written for those who desire to become
true believers, and His true disciples. This is a lesson
that everyone of us must come to grips with, before we can
move on to more advanced subjects.
How important is this lesson?
If Jesus felt the need to turn
away from the multitudes to teach this lesson to his twelve
disciples, how important could this lesson be? Consider
also that not only is this warning included in all of the
Gospels, but that in two of the Gospels this same lesson
is brought up more than one time. If the writers of the
Gospels in the limited space that they wrote chose to recall
over and over again this particular lesson that would seem
to indicate that they felt these words were of great spiritual
importance. And if that were not enough in itself, we also
find this same warning echoed again and again in the Epistles.
Lets now look now at the second
quotation from Christ in the Gospel of Matthew on this very
A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth
forth good things: and an evil (corrupted) man out of the
evil (corrupted) treasure bringeth forth evil (corrupted)
knows that a rusty pipe brings forth rust flavored water.
Now we can flush that pipe out with a high volume of water
until the water runs clear, and at this point most believers
would say with a high flow of the Spirit the problem has
been solved. No, that is not true at all. We do not want
to be deceived, as so many others have allowed themselves
to be. We need to see that nothing has fundamentally
changed in the life of that pipe. We need to see that the pipe is still corrupted, and as soon as
the flow slows, the water will revert to being rust flavored
And this has been the history
of revival of the last two centuries, as long as there was
a strong powerful flow of the Spirit the waters ran clear,
but as soon as the flow slowed the corruption in the unrepentant
unsanctified pipe it ran through became manifest, and the
sheep were forced to drink from the brackish water dribbling
out from that broken cistern.
We also want to be quite clear that this
taint, this darkness was produced at the start in a vessel
that did not have a singleness of vision. These never had
an eye only for the Lord. Instead in their heart of hearts
they were covetous towards being part of a material kingdom
that they would rule over, with all the money, all the prestige,
and all the power of the kingdoms of the gentiles. Thank
God the twelve disciples in the Gospels were humble enough
to bear their souls and their most carnal base desires to
us. Thank God that they exposed their base desires to be
the greatest and to rule and reign in a material kingdom.
And thank God they recalled Christ teaching them time and
again that these things were not to be so among his believers
and that only those with a singleness of vision for God
would receive the light of life.
Many in our day are covetous
and have their eyes full of envy of what others have. So
much so that they search over land and sea for some great
minister or ministry that they might to emulate them, they
read their books and tapes that they might learn from them
their so called secrets. This is the path of taint and darkness.
How can this be you might ask? Formerly
we were all born in the image and likeness of Adam, but
then we were all called to be born of God in His image and
His likeness. How is it that many have turned away from
this high calling and instead they seek to corrupt the image
and likeness of God in them by replacing it with the image
and likeness of some other minister or ministry? Instead
of taking the time to come into that intimate knowledge
of the Lord and learning to hear His voice, and being taught
of Him, and then being sent forth by Him as a unique vessel
unto the body, these have taken the incorruptible image
of God and corrupted it with the earthly and sensual; image
of another minister or another’s ministry.
This is very serious stuff.
according to the covenant that I made with their fathers
in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out
of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although
I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be
the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel;
After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their
inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be
their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his
neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD:
for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto
the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive
their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
This is the measuring stick of our spiritual
law of God in our inward parts and heart is the new covenant.
It is the law and revelation of God being written
and illuminating our innermost beings and becoming our very
So within this passage we can clearly see
the great commandment – “Thou
shalt love the Lord you God with all your heart, soul, mind,
and strength.” This love of God is coming from: “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy
whole body shall be full of light.”
Not only that, but we can also see the
second commandment in this passage as well: ”And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man
his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know
If we have this same burning glowing spiritual
enlightenment in our inward parts and heart that Christ
had; we would feel the same bubbling driving constraint
from within that He did, to tell every man his neighbor
and everyman his brother know the Lord. This knowing the
Lord is not merely witnessing to an unbeliever, but it is
a speaking of the light, the revelation that flows from
your relationship with God. In other words it is speaking
of a greater knowing. –
When we don’t feel this overflow of the love of God to tell
everyone of this greater to “knowing of
the Lord.” that should be an indicator that something
is not right. That should be an indicator that something
else is warring among our members, that our vision is no
longer single, and that our light has become darkness.
If I were to sugar coat this and tell
you that; “All is well, and that you can just keep on doing
what you always have done and get by, I would be a liar.
The truth is that every one reading these words is
conflicted within, daily you have conflicted thoughts, and
daily you do mind the things of the flesh and the things
of the world, -- and at times it bothers you.
I dare say that all of us have things in our lives
that we have never been able to get the victory over. We
have probably had victory over these things for a few days,
maybe for a few weeks or in some cases a few months, but
then the enemy holds up that little shiny bauble and says:
You like this don’t you? You really want this don’t you?
You miss it don’t you? You miss the peace and comfort you
derived from it . . . And then we break down and give in
and we are ensnared again.
Pure light is interesting stuff. Pure light
is actually invisible and yet visible. Pure light it has
no substance but can be felt. Pure light does not filter,
or shade, or color. Darkness is also very interesting stuff.
Darkness is also invisible and yet visible, darkness has
no substance and yet it can be felt, however darkness filters
the light, it shades the light or colors the light. Darkness
is not tainted by light but light is clearly tainted by
But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of
darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great
is that darkness! .
In saying these
words Christ did not mean that if some area of your eye was
corrupted that that area alone “shall be full of darkness.”
There is no segmentation of darkness or compartmentalism
of darkness here. The common belief is that you can
have some area in your life given over to sin, and that
you can limit that area and keep it under control. This
thinking is delusional.
Why does this same sin happen
in my life over and over again? Because we have do not have
a singleness of vision of the Lord. It is because we have
allowed sin to have a beachhead in our heart and soul. We
thought at first we could entertain a few little things
in our hearts. We thought we could keep them under control.
But just as sure as you cannot hold light in your
hand and control it, you cannot hold darkness in your hand
and control it either.
If these things are true in your life
you should know that you are not alone and that you are
in good company. The twelve disciples were also conflicted.
The twelve disciples had beachheads in their lives,
and the twelve disciples had sins that they were overcome
by. The same sins
time and again. But we know that all that changed. Thank
God they were able to cross from darkness to light. Thank
God they were able to go from having their eyes filled with
envy and covetousness to having a singleness of vision for
the Lord. And if they could so change, then so can we.
For the law of the spirit of
life in Christ Jesus hath set me free from the Law of sin
I have meditated long on the
question of what changed these twelve carnal disciples into
the twelve apostles. As I mentioned before if we take a rusty pipe and put a flow of
water though it as long as the flow continues the water
will run clear but nothing has fundamentally changed with
the pipe or vessel. But we know that somehow these twelve
men were changed --
how was it done? Can we see the process in the Bible? It
is painstakingly written out for us over and over again
in the Gospels, the account from the last supper until Christ
What happened between
the Last Supper and when Christ died that began the transformation
of the twelve disciples into the twelve Apostles? This is
a very legitimate question that few have had the insight
or courage to ask it.
By the Apostles own words we
can see that they never really believed that Jesus was going
to die. They probably thought that an army of 10,000 angels
would rush to Christ’s defense if the priests actually tried
to touch him. And more particularly each disciple gave their
word and swore they would never leave Christ’s side. When
Jesus was arrested they all fled, they first of all broke
their own promises proving in their own eyes and each others
eyes who were all witnesses of their words that they all
were not worthy to be his disciples, they were all liars,
they were all afraid, they were all without faith, and hope,
they did not love God (Jesus) above themselves, they were
all without honor, they were all forever marked with disgrace
and contempt. Then on top of all that when Christ died all
their hopes and dreams of an earthly kingdom and earthly
riches died with him. All hope that they would rule and
reign with him in a restored kingdom of Israel died then
These disciples had given up
everything houses, lands, husbands, wives, and children
and for all that they ended up nothing. This was a severe
blow to their egos. It is after this point that we find
in that there were no longer any arguments about who would
be the greatest -- because there was nothing left to be
the greatest of. And
again this was largely because all of them were at the last
supper together and they knew what each had said and in
Gethsemane what each of them had done. – They had all become
of no reputation – not one could boast for they had all
fled. Not one could
boast that they had stood with Christ in his hour of need
-- because all knew each others sin in this matter.
In fact all had fallen asleep in the garden and could not
even pray one hour with Christ – So they felt very low about
their spirituality, their righteousness and their commitment.
This in turn made it all the
more humbling when Christ later had to seek out and appear
to all of those who had failed and betrayed him. Now at
this point Jesus death on the cross and His resurrection
and personal forgiveness for each of the disciples suddenly
had a soul felt meaning that burned down into the core of
each ones being. This
had never before happened and at this point and this point
alone the conversion process began in earnest. (This was
the point that the laws were written upon their hearts in
pain anguish and a realization that they were completely
unworthy and never would be made worthy.) And this seldom
happens in out day of glib empty commitments to Christ.
What does that mean to the
Church? What does that mean to us as believers?
Words of teaching will not convert your
soul – we can hear words and preaching and believe on the
Lord Jesus Christ – like the disciples did but words alone
will not convert our soul. It will take something sharp
that will shake and devastate to the core of our being –
and in it we have to learn two things 1) That Christ did
not die to give us material wealth and to rule here on earth
2) That there is nothing righteous in us, that we are utterly
corrupt and that by our power and strength we can do nothing
to please God.
At this point the disciples for the first
time were able to look at Christ with a singleness of vision
and if they were so changed then we can also.
Why do loved ones die unhealed? Christ died on the cross unhealed. I know no one in the faith movement
that can consider that point – “Physician heal thyself “–
“He healed others but he could not heal himself.”
And even after the resurrection in his glorified
body the wounds still existed. According to our current
preaching and teaching these wounds should not exist. They
should have disappeared when Jesus was raised by the power
of the Shekina Glory of God.
Would the words of Christ “The servant is not above
the master.” Have any application here?