Darkness as Light -- Part 2
Consider now that John the Baptist comes and
announces that the Messiah is coming with (SOZO) salvation
for everyone. Jesus then heals and forgives sin and deals
– salvation to the multitudes. But then Christ then does the seemingly
impossible; as he demonstrates his power and authority by having
his disciples dispense healing and forgiveness -- sozo out to the multitudes.
We are told as matter of personal
testimony in the Gospels that Jesus selected a bunch of unregenerate,
envious, covetous men, with their hearts filled with darkness
to be the heralds of the kingdom of heaven. And that he had these
same men preaching, teaching healing the sick and casting out
demons. The disciples routinely shouted down people that came
to touch the Lord, they blocked access to the Lord and they even
rebuked people that wanted their children blessed.
Justin Martyr 160 AD said regarding
the apostles and believers:
For Christ called not the just, nor the chaste
to repentance, but the ungodly, and the licentious, and the unjust;
His words being, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners
After knowing the state of
these twelve men that were given power to heal the sick, cleanse
lepers, cast out devils, and preach the Gospel freely to the multitudes,
it should further pique our interest that these distributors of
(Sozo) Salvation were never able to partake of the (Sozo)
Salvation for themselves for almost 3.5 years.
The point of the disciples’ conversion
or salvation is a serious point of doctrine in almost all Evangelical,
Fundamentalist, Pentecostal, or Charismatic denominations. All
agree that the twelve disciples were not saved until after Christ
was at least raised from the dead. Something about this not being
able to partake is ringing in my spirit about Adam in regards
to the tree of life the garden. (Three months after I wrote this
I now see that Adam was created to be a servant, and not to be
served, even by Eve. And only after he laid down his life could
Adam have partaken – but he did not, for he loved his flesh (Eve)
more than he loved his Father.)
now look at another layer in the fabric of the lives of the twelve
disciples. Particularly that they demonstrated that they were
followers of Christ not in word but in deed.
By their own testimony these twelve had forsaken houses
and lands, mother and father, and sister and brother – they had
given up all this to wander the countryside with Christ. They
saw something in Jesus that they were drawn to. They had a level
of commitment well beyond most believers of today. But with all
of that their hearts were not yet made right.
We might even say that they were blind to their
sins and trespasses. And again in the Gospels they give testimony
time and again that they understood little or anything that Christ
was trying to teach them day in and day out for 3.5 years.
If we believe their testimony, if
we could hear the truth in their words we would have to ask: Why
would they have taken such pains to express such an unflattering
picture of themselves while they walked and taught with Christ?
And by the same token we need to also ask: Why
would they have felt that they needed to take up so much precious
space in the four Gospels to cover their personal short comings,
when they could have told us that they were sinners in a sentence
Far from being a spiritual giant or having a
discerning eye for truth it has taken me no less than 30 years
to see any of this. And yet all of this is as plain in scripture
as the nose on your face. When
I read these words, unfortunately it sounds like a large part
of my stumbling blind Christian walk. Where I thought I had great
spiritual knowledge, a great walk with God and that I was piling
up all these great spiritual riches – I instead found myself to
be in a far less enviable position than the Laodiceans in the
book of Revelation.
This failed, up again down again
flesh-spirit testimony of the twelve disciples sounds like almost
every believer I have ever met. Perhaps even worse the words of
the Apostles sound like all to many preachers I have met.
So how is it that collectively almost
all our experiences match up with the disciples before Christ
died on the cross? What does it mean when after 5, 10, 15, 20
years of supposedly being saved and sold out for God that we find
our spiritual walk still squares up with that of the young disciples
rather later than when they became Apostles?
Could it mean that the doctrine we have been taught on
salvation, sanctification and becoming overcomers is not exactly
correct? Could it mean that like the twelve disciples we require
some additional experiences, and some hard cold revelations of
ourselves before we can be transformed within and without?
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
The Apostles wrote their testimony in the Gospels
the way they did because: 1) their collective testimony is the
living demonstration of what it means to be converted or saved
by the Gospel 2) It was peppered throughout the Gospels so that
it was not a few verses that could be overlooked or discounted
as is the custom in the hour.3) It was plain that these men considered
themselves great sinners received no reverence or worship of men
in life, however upon their death a sinful and idolatrous Church
began venerating the bones and artifacts of the dead Apostles,
and “Saints” putting them on display for people to touch pray
to give offerings to and receive healings and miracles. So we
see how well the Church has taken to heart these three points.
Instead of the Church having concentrated the
bulk of its teachings to explore what happened to the disciples
that caused them to be turned into Apostles, the church for the
last few centuries has taken the mistaken view that upon salvation
and water baptism and /or the Baptism of the Holy Spirit that
their members have arrived, that they have received all truth
and all that can be experienced in God and that all is left is
for them to get vacuumed up in the sky.
Origen in 230 AD
On the subject of the erosion of faith in his day said:
Most of us devote most of our time to the things
of this life, and dedicate to God only a few special acts, thus
resembling those members of the tribes who had but few transactions
with the priest, and discharged their religious duties with no
great expense of time.
But those who devote
themselves to the divine word and have no other employment but
the service of God may not unnaturally, allowing for the difference
of occupation in the two cases, be called our Levites and priests.
And those who fulfill a more distinguished office than their kinsmen6
will perhaps be high priests, according to the order of Aaron,
not that of Melchisedek. Here some one
may object that it is somewhat too bold to apply the name of high
priests to men. Origen is saying that while
the concept of Christian Levites to seek God, to study the Bible,
and do the necessary spiritual sacrifices for the common people
was already in place in his day this corrupt act in installing
a mock Jewish priesthood in the Church had already occurred and
had been accepted by 230 AD. Origen is proposing a second
tier, an order of high priests to help keep the common priests
in line who themselves were seen as experiencing a lack of spirituality
and devotion themselves.
I don’t want to wander too far a field
here but we need to understand that the message that the Apostles
had so meticulously woven into the Gospels to convey their spiritual
bankruptcy as disciples and the great changes that Christ wrought
in them was all but lost to the Church in Origen’s day just 100
years after the death of the Apostle John.
In the above passage Origen does not speak of increased
prayer, fasting, studying Gods word, there is no talk of a personal
relationship with Christ, Nor does Origen recall better days and
the practices of the previous generation instead Origen speaks
only of surrogates and surrogates for the surrogates.
is added in 3 months later.)
Origin further writes:
“As long as
I am in the world, I am the light of the world." Then He
says to His disciples, "Ye are the light of the world,"
and "Let your light shine before men." Thus we see the Church, the
bride, to present an analogy to the moon and stars, and the disciples
have a light, which is their own or borrowed
from the true sun, so that they are able to illuminate
those who have no command of any spring of light in themselves.
We may say that Paul and Peter are the light of the world, and
that those of their disciples who are enlightened themselves, but are not able to enlighten others.
is unknowingly speaking of that God creates unique vessels unto
him and what those vessels receive though coveted and replicated
by others is in fat non-transferable and not refillable bottles.
Nobody in this day wants to be unique vessels of the Lord anymore.
Everyone wants instead to be the disciples of each other and bear
each other’s mantles and the mantles of the dead. Christ was able
to instill that light and life that was in him into the twelve
Apostles. However there was a disconnect between the Apostles
and that next generation – and those who sought to become the
disciples of the apostles became less endowed with revelation
and with power because already they had been cut off from the
source Jesus Christ.
And sadly even as sharp an insight as Origen had in his day – as
to the corruption that had entered the body of beleivers, and
of what had been lost since the death of the Apostles Origen did
not know how to return the Church back to the Gospel that was
once delivered unto the saints.
And this one central truth of the whole of Christiandom has existed
according to Origen from the death of the Apostles: That the so-called
church has lost its way, that it is an order of the blind leading
the blind, and that it has not been able to find its way back
to Christ and heal its wounds.
Let me quote once more from Origen:
But the Saviour,
being the light of the world, illuminates not bodies, but by His
incorporeal power the incorporeal intellect (Our Spirits), to the end that each of us,
enlightened as by the sun, may be able to discern the rest of
the things of the mind
So Origen sees a superior infilling and enlightenment of Christ than
he and the fwllow believers of his day possess – but as he speaks
of it he speaks of it as we have spoken of Sonship – Origen speaks
of this glorious manifestation, and high calling that is in Christ
Jesus but not how it is connected with Christ
And as when
the sun is shining the moon and the stars lose their power of
giving light, so those who are irradiated by Christ and receive
His beams have no need of the ministering apostles and prophets (and
the pastors and teachers and Levites of Origen’s day) nor of the angels; we must have courage to declare this truth. -- I will add that they have no need even of the greater powers when
they are disciples of that first-born light. To those who do not
receive the solar beams of Christ.
What is the truth that Origen must have the courage to declare? That
they do not possess this Light of the first-born. That they are
in his day walking in a lesser light, that of the moon and stars.
And again Origen is more or less equating the light of the First-born
with what we have called Sonship. The truth is that we are to
be the disciples of Christ the first born light not some company of lesser lights. What
preacher or minister of this day would say I have missed God?
I have not arrived and all the works of my hands have been found
wanting? What preacher has said don’t listen to my words or messages
what you need is to hear from “the word that proceedeth out of
the mouth of the father?
prophets, and angels, and greater powers) do
afford an illumination much less than the former (Christ himself); this illumination (Lesser light) is as much as those persons can receive, and it completely fills them.
their vision is on the visible and not on He who is invisible)
(is) the light of the world, (and He) is the true light as distinguished from the light of sense;(light of our understanding)
All that we see today in the Church
and in ministries has largely created by the light of men’s sense
and not the Light of Christ. And all this goes back to a lack
of Hearing the word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the father.
A lack of singleness of vision and Origen is more or less confessing
that the light of their day is darkness.
Origen in his day seems to be promoting a call to some kind of
deeper spirituality and a reaching out to some kind of a study
of scripture, in our day we have much the opposite problem. Today
it is common practice in all to many churches and denominations
to dissuade people from reading the bible too much, from praying
too much, or even living too much for God. There is a great fear that members might receive
some slight glimmer of light and thus expose these men and their
messages or darkness.
These Churches want
to keep their sheep busy, so members are told in the same breath
that can never attend too many of their churches meetings. Nor
can any member attend too many church functions or listen to too
many of the pastor’s or other surrogates empty teachings and messages.