You Must Walk in the Light of God’s Word
John 1:1-5 says of Jesus Christ: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” Going down to John 1:14 then: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
The written Word of the Bible is a testimony of Jesus Christ. Though He is no longer in the world in terms of being here in the flesh, we still have the testimony of His written Word, which is an even brighter shining light now, after the Great Light was revealed and the testimony of that revelation has been recorded in what we know as the New Testament.
Mankind thus has greater light now than mankind had before the incarnation of Jesus Christ and the events of the 1st century which surrounded Him.
Yet even beforehand, having not even the whole Old Testament, and having little to no more than the Pentateuch (the five books written through Moses), David wrote in Psalm 119:105: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
The light of God’s Word functions very much like the star which the wise men saw which led them to Christ the King.
Reading from Matthew 2:1-11 (I’ll make some comments between verses too): “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him (My comment: King Herod and those who were troubled by the Ultimate King’s arrival were not walking in the light of His Word (though they would have professed to have been- they were Jews who claimed to believe the Hebrew Bible)- or they would have welcomed the King who embodied the totality of the righteousness of that Word). And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born (My comment: Some seek understanding of the Bible so they can militate against Jesus and suppress His light). And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel (My comment: The scholars gave the right answer, but they weren’t going to inconvenience themselves to make the approximately 18 mile trip from Jerusalem to Bethlehem to see the King, let alone give him a costly gift- very unlike the wise men who had traveled probably at least 100 times that distance to see the King and give Him gifts which were fitting of His inherent glory. Jesus gave many warnings about the wickedness and unreliability of the Scribes of His time. In this case they at least gave a right answer, even though they did not have significant discernment and did not discern Herod’s wicked intention here. Or maybe more likely, they didn’t have the courage to resist Herod though they knew what he was up to. Beware of the Scribes- they are usually not faithful guides to follow, though sometimes it is good to heed their words when those words are solidly backed up by Scripture, yet still don’t follow their example when they are not heeding the very truths of the Bible that they are speaking). Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also (My comment: Insincere worship of Jesus goes back to Cain, since Jesus is the Word who was with the Father before Genesis 1:1). When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him (My comment: They only worshiped the young child, not Mary, though she was right there): and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh (My comment: I believe it is accurate to say that, whether the wise men knew it or not, these gifts represent well how Christ is a King, a Priest, and that He came to die for the sins of mankind (frankincense was used by Israel’s Priests in the Temple; and myrrh was for anointing dead bodies) in order to open a way for mankind to come under His reign and High Priesthood wherein is salvation from sin’s guilt and power- see also Matthew 1:21).”
The light of the star brought the wise men face to face with Jesus- in righteousness. They were never going to find Him without carefully following the guidance of the star. And likewise, no one will ever behold Jesus in righteousness when He comes again unless in this life they take heed carefully and let His Word guide them, even through great inconvenience, suffering, and personal cost (as it was with the wise men) until the end of their life.
Psalm 27:1: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
Who can say such a thing without that being a vain saying? Only those take heed and walk in the light of God’s Word.
Reading now from 1 John 1:1-10, 2:1-6: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (My comment: This isn’t teaching that we inevitably have to sin constantly. John makes that very clear within a few verses and throughout the book. The entire instruction and admonition here is about the need to walk in the light and not walk in darkness. We surely walk in darkness though if we sin and we don’t confess it to God as sin and put it to death through Jesus Christ) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
That is stating the same thing that was stated in Psalm 119:105: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
I won’t read all of Psalm 119 (that would take a while), but I’ll read the first eleven verses of it and the verses which lead up to verse 105.
Psalm 119:1-11: “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
David is speaking in this Psalm of living by an authentic faith in the true God. That is inseparable from a proper response to God’s Word, walking in its light, using God’s Word as it is intended, a guide to faith. When the Bible talks about salvation by works as a bad thing which should we should not seek God’s justification by, it is speaking of man not being able to atone for his own sins, of man treating God as if God is his debtor who owes him (don’t ever ask God to give you what you legally deserve from Him), and speaking of man in general following his own ideas and devising his own ways which he thinks God ought to accept. The Bible speaks in another sense about how faith without works is dead and of how true faith must be accompanied by works. And that is what David is speaking of here in Psalm 119. And that is also what we have read about in 1 John- walking in the light of God’s Word with a heart to please God, relating to Christ, whom the Word is a testimony of, as the Great King and High Priest that He is. We need to be obedient to Him from the heart and we need His blood to wash our sins away according to His mercy-or we will surely be condemned.
Jesus told Saul, who was later called Paul, the following when he appeared to him. Acts 26:16-20: “But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Paul was speaking of this a past event before King Agrippa at this time- and he continues here speaking to Agrippa). Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.”
Continuing then in Psalm 119, going to verses:89-105: “ For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants. Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction. I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me. I am thine, save me: for I have sought thy precepts. The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies. I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
In relation to facing tribulation in this dark world, we are told in Isaiah 50:10: “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.” This is an exhortation to the faithful to keep being faithful.
God demonstrated in Genesis chapter 1, in the opening verses of the Bible, that He is able to speak light into the darkness. Yet even if He withholds, we have the light of His Word; and walking in its light is enough until the darkness that surrounds us is dispelled.
The Apostle Peter testified in 2 Peter 1:16-21: “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
In Job 23:8-12 Job is testifying in his confusion and he is speaking the truth. He is focusing on justifying himself here when he should be aiming rather to vindicate God, yet he is speaking what is true and right. And God bears witness of that Himself in the final chapter of Job when he finally steps in to vindicate Job.
Job 23:8-12: “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.”
I know of a young man from Kenya named Abudub. I believe these verses describe his life in an especially striking way. Abudub suffered a living hell of disease and pain for about 5 years. Not as an old man who had lived a full life already, but as a young man who I don’t believe had really known anything but poverty in his short life up to the time he became horribly diseased and bedridden. He could not walk, he had sores all over his body, and for every time something got better it seemed like three more things went wrong. Yet the main thing which I have heard about Abudub from the reports that I got is that he never complained. Abudub died recently. I know I am not the only one who wondered why God did not heal him or take him sooner. Yet now he has left a remarkable testimony of how he stayed in fellowship with the Christians who were taking care of him and he never complained. What an example when we are tempted to complain!
Complaining is indeed one sure mark that one is contending with God and not walking in the light of His Word.
Jude 12-16 (specifically describing hypocrites within Apostolic churches, but the complaining part well describes the ungodly who are under God’s wrath in general): “These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.”
Whether it is through complaining or other ungodly means, people often make their own ways to kindle their own counterfeit fire to give them their own counterfeit light (speaking of course in a spiritual sense). At their core, these are expressions of enmity against God. Immediately after Isaiah 50:10, which was recently looked at, God pronounces His curse upon those who do this.
Isaiah 50:11: “Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.”
Mankind overall is just in general clever when it comes to contending with God, resisting the light of His Word, and provoking Him to anger in many ways!
Isaiah 5:18-24: “Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope: That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it! Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him (i.e. speaking of condemning the just)! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.”
Yet the Great Light remains behind the clouds for those who will carefully and honestly heed the light of God’s Word in this dark world. As with the wise men, their suffering, their labor, and their exertion in seeking the King’s face will not be in vain. When the King comes again, every eye will see Him, but only those who have forsaken walking in darkness, turned to walk in the light, and continued therein will behold Him in righteousness and be able to stand before Him (i.e. be justified then and inherit His kingdom). God knows who is doing this. May this encourage these ones not to lose heart on their way and not go back on it. May all else take warning to flee from the wrath to come!
Revelation 6:15-17: “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”
1 John 2:28-29, 3:1-8: “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”
Psalm 97: “The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof. Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about. His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled. The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory. Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods (and like in Psalm 82, this is a reference to mighty ones in terms of earthly power). Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O Lord. For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods. Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.”
Reach brother Aaron at: [email protected]