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 out sozo – 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 to repentance." 

 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.)

 Lets 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 or two?

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? 

Matthew 6:22-24 The 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! 

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.

(This 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.

Origen 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 (Of Christ).

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?  

Origen continues:

The ministering saints (Apostles, 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. (because their vision is on the visible and not on He who is invisible)

Again Christ, (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. 

While 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.