9-God is Light, Self is Darkness
Along the line, the lost truth is of that one evil thing called self. We're born rebels, so it's so easy to accept it and encourage it. A lot of our pride and arrogancy we believe to be something of the Spirit of God. I've found so much of it in myself. I pray we let God encourage us. He doesn't want us to despair because we aren't nearly as much like Him as we think we are. The devil is a liar, but he needs someone to lie through. He was a murderer but needed Cain to express that.
1 Joh 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him and declare unto you that God is light and Him is no darkness at all.
God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. The first dawning of this spirit of love in our hearts which is the fruit of the Spirit of God in the human darkness is the evidence that we've not come into the fullness of the Spirit. The uneasiness that comes in the heart tells us we haven't in our present state come into the fullness of what God wants. The uneasiness is the results of this fruit of love in our heart for that we could never love before. We never could love our enemies or pray for them. The uneasiness comes because the love born in you is making its demand on your life to be the only light of your life. Self gets nervous when something begins to deal with it in its totality. We'll sacrifice too, if you let us make our own decision. Don't let the Holy Ghost tell me about that, I'll make my own decision. I'll go anywhere in the world I feel like going, but don't press anything on me. But that uneasiness is its demand to be the one light and power of your life and to have all that is of you overcome and governed by that light and that love. That is the uneasiness. When this Holy Ghost first moves within us, the one great point on which all of our growth depends, is all we are in our fallen state, we must let Him deal with. He must be allowed by us to deal with everything that is not of Himself. He didn't come to share His life with your life. If you insist on it, He'll leave you to it, but all we are is contrary to the Holy Ghost.
I don't care how educated and refined you think it is, it is contrary to the Holy Ghost and a death to self is the only cure for your dilemma and your becoming anything God wants you to become. This is the one condition Christ insists on. He said if you would be My disciple, you must deny yourself. That doesn't mean to give up sin and deny your own goodness. It means that, but it means a great deal more. Self means that life which is the root of all our being and doing, that fountain or source from which it comes and dominates our life until we got here. No part of that fountain is allowed here. The only thing we can do is present ourselves at the altar as an empty possibility. He doesn't want your talent or your music, He wants you. He may give you that, who knows, but all He wants is an empty possibility. It's this self life that must be denied if Christ's life is to possess us. God said if you save that life, you're gonna lose this life. But if you're willing to lose that life then you can have My life. Two words are used for that word life there. When He said save your life and you'll lose it, but if you lose your life for Me and My gospel, you'll save it. Two words, one is your life the other is His.
In our natural state, what we are in ourselves is in opposition to the order and end of creation. When man fell it become against that. It is a conditional source of perverted appetites therefore every motion of it has to be mortified. It's made up totally of perverted appetites. We're not born gluttons, we become that. We develop tastes for things that are not of God. God gives a man an appetite, man develops the hunger. But it's perverted and has to be dealt with if this Christ life is to proceed in us. This isn't really taught in the church much therefore Christ isn't really seen in the church. For the most part we see ourselves.
The Holy Ghost has greater things to do than deal with our self pity, and if we are going to be governed by Him we have greater things to do. It's only when self has been given over to death and our life freed from its rule that man's will and power can be made humble and dependent on God. Until it is, all we are is religious. We'll affect nobody. We'll touch nobody. Just as darkness can't be altered or changed into light, it can only subservient to light and lost and swallowed up in it, so nature itself is darkness and as darkness has a capacity of receiving and showing forth light and the glory of God. Light is invisible and you can't see it except by its reflection. Plastic can't generate electricity. You can't generate it through wood, or plastic, or glass and you can't generate the Holy Ghost through flesh. The glory of God can't shine through that blubber. It has to be dealt with, it has to be brought under, it has to be crucified, if there is going to be the light of God that comes through our lives.
The light is God. The first state of man, all the natural properties of his life was hid in God. In Eden, he was naked and didn't even know it. When man fell out of Eden, around him out there was a world like we live in, but he never knew that until he fell out of Eden. Paradise was lost. It was then that man began to recognize the darkness about him. He never realized it or knew he was naked until he fell because he was covered with the glory of light. The things of man, the properties of his life were glorified by the life of God in him and that's what he was created for. We were created for one thing, to show forth the life and glory of God. In the fall that couldn't happen. Before that fall all the properties of man were clothed and hid in God. God said let us make man in Our image, so He could see Himself, a Triune God reflected in that man. The Father, The Son, the Holy Ghost. In the fall all of that was lost. When man fell, the natural properties of that life having lost union with God broke forth in their own natural division one to another. All we see in the world today is because of that. Just as darkness when it lost the light, must show forth its own coldness and horror and is in total opposition to light, but it is absolutely necessary for light. That's not a contradiction of terms. Without darkness, no manifestation of the visibility of light is possible. So it is with the natural life of man. In itself it's in total opposition to God, what you are naturally. Yet the divine life cannot be communicated, except it comes in and through us. That's why God is constantly dealing with us.
He will purge you so you can bring forth fruit. When you begin to bring forth fruit, He'll purge you some more, to bring forth more fruit. He's constantly working so our lives can be transparent, no shadows. Everything that is of that natural self He deals with it. When I was a child, Paul said I acted like a child, but when I become a man, God's dealing with me about different things. When our boy was born, my wife diapered and fed him. He was helpless so she took care of everything. But when he was big enough to sit on that pot, she quit washing diapers. What's she doing? She's sanctifying him. Setting him apart from that. When he got to where he could walk, she quit carrying him all the time. It's just a matter of growing up. God tolerated a lot of things in your life yesterday, but that must get out. He says, now, I'm tired of that, there's a shadow, it's blocking, I'm not seeing Myself in some part of you, and that shadow must be dealt with because all self is night and darkness.
The Scripture says God dwells in the light which no man can approach. Now this teaches that light in itself is invisible to man. You can't see light. Once the astronauts get out of the atmosphere of the earth they are in total darkness except what might reflect off that ship. Scripture teaches us it this light God dwells in can't be approached or made manifest to man but in something that is not light. The beauty of light can be seen. In a diamond, it's not the beauty of the diamond, but its the light shining in the cut of that diamond. It lays on that shelf at night, nothing beautiful about it at all but when that light shines upon it is beautiful. It's the when God is able to shape us and carve us so that the beauty of His light that reflects from us, that is what Christianity is all about. It's not about going to church and singing choruses and hearing short little sermons and ten minutes later we can't remember what the preacher said. It's more and more having the reflection of that Triune God coming into our lives. This is Christianity.
God dwells in the light that is invisible and unapproachable. He can only be seen and known through those upon whom His light has come to rest. So the light of the glory of God was seen in the face of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now we are to be that. The light of the glory of God is to be seen in the face of us that have become a part of this world of the new creature. As He was in this world, so are we. It's the will of God that the light of the glory of God shine in the face of redeemed saints everywhere and when it happens people are going to ask you what makes you different from me. Nothing ever gives you an opportunity like somebody seeing Jesus in that life. The light of the glory of God in that face. God is light. It's not only the image but the very nature and being of what God is.
All that light is to nature, God is to that new creature. The pursuit of the Christian life with all its holiness is wonderful indeed. Light manifests its own beauty by the different objects on which it rests. At night there is no color, but all colors are seen in white light. The objects only reflect the glory of the light. All the mountains, the flowers, the trees, owe their beauty to the light. You go out at night it's not green out there but when the sun comes up and the reflection of that light is up on it, then it is. Man was created to manifest the glory of God's light just as nature reflects the light of that sun. God's beauty should be seen as it rises upon us that have been born in the kingdom of God. Men ought to be able to see Jesus just as the trees reflect the glory of the sun.
This is the sum and fullness of the blessing-the light of God being manifest through redeemed humanity. All else is religion. This is Christianity. They that are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God and it doesn't matter if they are male or female because it's God's Son in them. There's only one Son. If the church can be that, then people will come because it's HIM that is the light there. The study of what Adam was created for as a bearer and reflector as the light of God leads us to see one of the highest and most helpful conceptions of the Christian life we can get hold of. The reality and intimacy of divine indwelling was the reason for his creation. Before there was a man or a world, there was this great God. He had thoughts, desires and wills, and so He created us so He could physically and verbally express those thoughts, desires and wills. Those thoughts were all comprehended in one person, the Lord Jesus Christ. To fill this universe with the glory of that Christ. One day righteousness which is Christ will fill this earth like the waters of the sea cover the earth. God has put us here for that reflection right now. Help us set our heart to make Jesus real again.
The unceasing operation of the divine power, and perfect rest and peace of the soul is in God's keeping. This is the destiny of unfallen Adam, those who are born again. The purpose of God is a straight line through the ages. The fall broke that. God bridged that gap with a new type of humanity, a new creature, but the program never changed. The whole thing is this universe be filled with the glory of God. Let us present ourselves to God as an empty possibility and let us sink down in our darkness in absolute dependence upon Him to make us what He said He would. It' can't happen otherwise. No rule of religion can do this. No thrashing and beating of self. It's a falling and admitting before God our total impotence to bring this about, but in a humble, meek, patient way totally resign ourselves to God. Then this life will dawn through our lives. The trees never struggle to put on fruit. In the winter everything is dead. They don't murmur or worry about how they are going to put clothes on. They never struggle. But in the spring when the light comes up, it turns green and begins to grow. The fruit is a product of light. So we must yield to the light. Give yourself to God.
I talked to man where I go to preach camp meeting in the summer in Sweden, and his wife was cutting up strawberries. In Texas, the strawberries have a tang to them, have to put a little sugar on them before I can eat them. But these were so sweet. He said the Swedish strawberries are the sweetest in the world because they get more light than any other strawberries in the world. I said I know why we are so sour now. There is so little light. We go to church, go through a lot of religion, may get a ray or two to shine on us, but we need to live and bask in this light. The tree never struggles, it just allows the light to do its work. I'm saved by His life. I'm justified by His death but I'm saved by His life, by the principal working of His life in me.
The children of God created to bear fruit for Him must learn this lesson " Be Still and Know I Am God." Light is power and joy. In Him was life and the life was the light of men. Light is all things and nothing. It's supernatural. Every good power and perfection comes from light. If that sun went out in 48 hours every tree would be dead. There can be no joy or rejoicing in any creature but the joy and power of light. When that sun doesn't shine for a few days it gets depressive. There is a warmth about it that makes it comforting. Flowers have no fragrance or life until the light shines on them. When that light is not in that church you have religious people who all want their way. If you don't do it their way, they won't just leave the church, they will wreck it.
When it comes to goats and sheep, the goat will come and butt the sheep away from the trough and that goat will eat until its full and then get up in the trough and walk back and forth in it to keep them sheep from getting any. You go out there with a stick to run him off, he'll rake the paint off the barn when he goes out. That's in the church, too.
Hell is full of misery and horror because of its darkness. We think about hell, eternal burning, what an awful thought. But it has to be a dark fire because there is no light there. That's what happened to man when he fell. That dark fire, the passions that come, that can only be quenched by the blood of Jesus. It can't be quenched by water, don't just baptize babies. That won't do it. It can only be quenched by the blood of this Light. If this supernatural light did not bathe the earth with its blessing, the earth would be full of the horrors of hell. They asked the great Scientist, CM Ward, who was a born again Christian, asked the father of the nitrogen bomb, who was a born again man, his name always escapes me, but this was before we put a man in space. CM Ward asked him about getting to outer space, did he think we would get there? He said I see no flaming sword to keep us out. CM Ward asked him if we get there, what do you think we will find? He said burnt out planets where angels kept not their first estate. Where the light was refused, everything become barren. Darkness and light are the two natures that are in every man. They are responsible for everything you do. Light and darkness do everything whether good or evil.
What is the main lesson before us? The silent but mighty power with which light does its work within us as we yield to its work. As the trees and flowers bask in the sunshine, the green and color is put upon their fruit. This is to teach us as children of God, our greatest need is to lie still in God's presence until His life becomes our life. They that wait upon God will renew their strength. In that light, it comes. In creation, light came first because God doesn't work in the night. God did His work in the light. In grace it's the same. The light of God's face and love shining on the new creation is meant to be the first condition of the further manifestation of His power to sanctify and make us fruitful. The highest you can seek or attain can be nothing higher than this, the light of God shining on you. Prayer is the greatest form of worship. How it is neglected. Could you not wait one hour? See the restlessness of some. They can't wait one hour in the presence of God. The light of God shining in us is omnipotent, all powerful all because that light will reveal God within us. For this we were created. It pleased God to reveal His Son in us. In His light we see light. His holy presence will dawn on us as the morning. If we stay in the light, it will keep arising. If you do not walk outside this light, in His light you will see light. It will come and grow. That wonderful indwelling for which man was created was to be and do everything God intended for our life. We begin to be restored as the light and glory of God are there.
There is no darkness in God, He is light. But there is no light except in God. Everything outside of God is darkness. We've tried to make it light and refine and educate it, tried to make it an environmental thing. It's the corruption of the human heart. God is light, there is no light but God. All nature as brought forth from God neither has nor was ever intended to have light within itself. Nature is nothing but darkness. It's a shocking thing, but it's true. This darkness had no evil in it. It was dark simply because there was an absence of light. It had the capacity for receiving light. But when the creature, first in angels, then in Adam fell, turned from God to self, then this darkness with its dependence on God lost its innocence. It's no longer neutral now. Darkness at the point became evil and the source of all evil. Men love darkness because their deeds are evil. Darkness is the source of all evil. Just as fallen angels abound in the chains of their own darkness and death, so is darkness the condition of everything that's not in the light of God.
When we seek for the fullness of God's truth and love to possess our lives we must recognize light and darkness are irreconcilable. No part of your life is allowed here. Saul said I kept the good things for God. There is nothing about you good. It all has to go to the cross. When you turn the lights out it's dark. Turn them on the darkness leaves. They cannot exist together, physically or spiritually. God created man with a self life of his own, endowed him with the will to choose God. Man as created could take hold of, receive of, and be filled with all the blessedness of God. Everything was there for Adam but when man turned from God and chose the darkness it was no longer now merely the absence of light. It is now full of evil. The darkness at that point inspired by self became the positive rejection of God. Everything that is not God rejects God. A man has to be born again. There has to be light. Nothing about us is light. This self or darkness is now the power that animates the whole human nature. This darkness cannot be improved or transmuted into light. You can't educate that mind and make it spiritual. The only answer is death to self that in turn it might receive the supernatural life of God. There is no other answer. If we knew that, we'd put the altars back in the church where men can come to deal with this self.
The contrast between light and darkness is meant to show us that in man's nature there is nothing morally indifferent. It's either under the dominion of light or under the dominion of darkness and there is absolutely no neutral ground. You either walk in light or you walk in darkness. The powers of nature are nothing but the working of that self nature in you, you allowing it a place, giving it a place and when you do it's all darkness. People say you have to recognize there's some good in there, but you can't mix good and bad. You destroy the good when you have mixture. I know it's a process, and God allows us to remain in fellowship through repentance but He deals with us to remove every shadow of your life so Jesus is seen in your life.
In the discussion of what true holiness is, man is ever seeking neutral territory. You deal with reality and you find it, it breaks down. They look for neutral territory in which temperaments proceeding from them have no moral value. They try to separate political lives from spiritual lives. They'll tell you 'well I keep my spiritual life separate from my political life.' Then you don't have a Christian life, because you can mix religion with politics but you can't mix the life of God with it. This is a life of its own and walks with God. Whatever it does is for the glory of God. A true insight into the nature and power of evil shows us how impossible it is for there to be any neutrality in that self. Everything belongs either in the region of light or in the region of darkness. As we believe this, there will come a deep humility and a sense of helplessness in all self effort. If I overcome anything in myself, there will come such a pride I will hate everybody that's not where I am. But if I overcome by the power of God, like Paul, I can become all things to all men. I can say to the man struggling to be filled, keep coming. I know where you are, I've been there, but I learned every trip to the altar is good for me. Something died, some effort of my own God dealt with that was laid aside. This despair will show our absolute need of being filled with God, the Holy Ghost.
There are four elements of self and these are pride, envy, anger and selfishness. These are the four elements of what you are in your unregenerate state. The reason that is so is the natural man was created to participate in the very life of God. The capacity to receive such is born out of extreme want and desire. That is the only capacity for receiving and becoming a participator in this life of God. It's born out of an extreme hunger and desire. They who hunger and thirst shall be filled. Till you come to a point, you have that extreme hunger, until your cry is give me this lest I die. The natural life fallen from God can't participate in God's life. It can be nothing in itself but an extremity of want and desire. That's where the covetousness, pride, envy and anger come out, that I can't get what I want. It all manifests itself, though it doesn't know it, the hunger is to participate in this life of God. There's no joy, no peace, in money. All them folks are drug addicts, or looking for joy where there isn't any. There is no peace saith God to the wicked. They are always looking for it, it's always a want and a desire. Thus the whole life is of torment because self is nothing but a plague of envy, covetousness, pride and wrath. There's no peace to the wicked, saith God. The desire is the beginning and motivating power of life. Coming from the Creator desire is a life principle of the creature. In all nature, desire is the motive and power of action. Lazy people don't want anything.
Man was created to participate in the life and goodness of his God. His fitness and capacity to receive that goodness is in the desire and hunger of wanting it. Without hunger and conviction there is nothing. If you're not thirsty, somebody offers you a bottle of water, you don't want it. But, in a desert where there is no water who can put a price on it? It is the power of desiring and wanting, that is the only way to participate in the life of God. The great loss in our church is there is no spiritual hunger. We just want to go to church on a Sunday morning and listen to a man rehash something he himself doesn't really know much about. We watch the clock, want to get out because dinner is going to be served, the restaurant will be crowded. There is no real spiritual hunger. Therefore there is no participation in this life. His fitness and capacity to receive that goodness is the sense of desiring continually this life. That is the misery of fallen man, they never get what they want. The way into this life is desiring it. Only 10% of the best church goes to the prayer meeting. That's the only ones that truly want anything. In an all night prayer meeting, 400 members in my church, only 40 in the prayer meeting, God said to me, Son you're looking at the rapture of this church. He said If I can't call a man to a prayer meeting, I can't call him to a rapture. He doesn't want me. If you had a big singing here, he'd be here. If you give away supper here, he'd be here, but you told him there was going to be a prayer meeting and nobody here but Me and he isn't here. He didn't want Me.
There's no hunger. The sense of want continually. Because of this fallen man can do nothing but covet. It's a desire proceeding from the want for its own good. He can do nothing but envy because that's a desire that has self for its object. It can only exalt itself because its desire is to reach after a higher state than what it is. Covetousness, pride, envy, are three molds in which one and the same restless desire ever manifests itself. No matter what you have it's never enough. It's self. It's an insatiable, ugly dark fire in the soul of the human. Out of these come the unsatisfied desire. It's only by the birth of this life of the Spirit of God that man can be delivered.
Look at the elements of sin that rob us of peace. Covetousness is out of the heart desiring what fallen man has not and cannot have. He's searching for what he can never have. Envy is the course of all ill will that disturbs us because it can't allow anything to interfere with our own interests. Pride, the proof of our fall from something better than we are now. It's the seeking something higher than we possess. It rebels and exalts itself against God or man that will not help to give us the place we seek. All together they work out a life of unrest and despair. Anger comes out of the other three. When those desires are not satisfied, we get angry, think the world owes us something. It's not enough we know the elements of self and are able to trace every sin to its roots. We must study this self and come to the right impression of the essential and incurable evil of all it is if we 're truly going to participate in the life of God. If we will walk in this light, we must know that self is darkness and no part of it can be allowed in your life individually or in that church collectively. If you do, you have allowed shadows to come that are going to obscure this wonderful Christ.
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