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Pastor Matthew Fanning

September 23, 2009

God is Light
Part 2

If We Walk in the Light

By:  Pastor Bill Randles

 “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin.”  (I John 1:7)

Once again as in John’s day, Gnostics have redefined the faith. This new “Christianity” is in effect a denial that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. The new spirituality brings no moral clarity at all - in fact sin, the exposure of sin, or the propitiation for sin are all seen as being irrelevant! That‘s why an obvious heretical charlatan like Todd Bentley can be exposed one day as an adulterer who threw away his wife for a younger one, and be re-instated by Gnostics like Rick Joyner into the Christian healing ministry! To them and their growing constituency, as long as you have the “Revelation Knowledge” all is well.   

This is why John had to write such as this:

“Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is Righteous, he that sinneth is of the devil…” (I John 3:7-8)

What is and always has been obvious, to all who have worshipped the God who is light, becomes blurry to the one whose faith has been distorted by neo Gnosticism. In the light of Him who is light, we see that this is a moral universe. The light is holy; it opposes and exposes all that is sinful, unholy, and evil. The Gnostic denial of this reality resulted in the need for several emphatic pronouncements by John:

“If we say we have fellowship with Him and yet we walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth.” (I John 1:6)

This is given to refute the teaching, or inference, that actual sins do not damage our relationship with God, the Father.  One cannot walk in darkness and at the same time be in communion with God. As in the above-mentioned case of Todd Bentley, we are asked by the likes of Rick Joyner to believe that he, who threw away his wife for another, is going to lead the church into some kind of revival. Nonsense! God is light and in Him is no darkness at all!

The apostolic answer, insists to the contrary that only, “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another.”  What does it mean to walk in the light?  We can see here that it is the necessary condition to true Christian fellowship, and that without it, fellowship is impossible. It couldn’t mean walking in some level of sinless perfection, for we are promised that if we do walk in the light, “…the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, will cleanse us from all sins.”

Walking in God’s light is nothing less than the willingness to live in the openness and exposure that the presence of God brings. In God’s light all things are seen for what they are, walking in the light is the willingness to face up to everything, to acknowledge what is exposed about ourselves, to be known for who we really are in God’s light, nothing more or nothing less. It is also called walking in the truth, and is the basic issue in the final judgment of all humanity.

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved (exposed). But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that His deeds may be manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (John 3:19-21)

Those who come to God are those who come into the light of exposure, they are willing to be seen for what they are, they have dropped all sham and pretense,  “Here I am oh Lord - behold me - look right through me!” They remain in the light, they confess their sins, they don’t deny them or ignore their existence - constantly they bare the inner man to the sight of God, who is light.  And the blood of Jesus, which has been shed for them, literally “…continuously cleanses them from each and every object of sin”.

They have learned to love the light of God, to seek to remain in it at all costs - even if they have to admit they are wrong, even at the cost of looking bad, feeling exposed and humbling themselves. The ones who love the light love the preachers who by scriptural doctrines “…reveal the secrets of their hearts!”  “You really stepped on my toes today pastor, but keep it up!” They are the ones who are “of the truth”- in the sense that they have an inner moral affinity to the truth.

“…For this reason was I born and for this cause did I come into the world, that I might bear witness to the Truth.  All who are of the truth will hear my voice.” (John 18:37)

But not all love the truth and the light. The reason for the condemnation of the world according to Jesus is that “…men loved the darkness rather than light.”  In 2 Thessalonians, Paul warned of those who would not “receive the love of the truth that they might be saved.”  Believing truth or rejecting it has a moral component, it is not merely intellectual.  People actually either come to the light, or love the darkness. If there wasn’t a Todd Bentley or a Benny Hinn, someone would have to invent one, because there is already a ready constituency for them. Jeremiah complained about prophets prophesying falsely, but then added “but My people love to have it so”.

If walking in the light means the willingness to know and be known, to be exposed, open, to confess sin before the God who is light, what does it mean to walk in darkness?

Darkness is not mere ignorance, it is willful, culpable ignorance - it is the effort not to know, the refusal to see.  Walking in darkness is the willful denial of that which the light would reveal, the instinctual closing of the shades, the cloud of self-concealment and self-deception by which the sinners insist on justifying themselves. “Don’t go there, preacher! Get me out of that church, they are all judging me!” “Men love the darkness”, we are told by the Savior, “because their deeds are evil.”  

But coming to God, is coming into the light, coming out into the open, “doing truth”, acknowledging that all of our deeds are “wrought in God”, in the sense that they are all done before God, good or evil. In such a light, all pretenses can be dropped (hypocrisy is actually pretty hard work) we can be known for who we are, we can be purged and liberated in the true light of Him who is light.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. “ (I John 1:9)