ON DARKNESS

BY: JONATHAN MITCHELL

JANUARY 12, 2009

We often make reference to darkness, as the term is used in Scripture, but do we really understand what the Spirit means when a writer of the sacred text uses the word? I think that much of our perception, and perhaps a lot of our doctrine, has come from sources outside the Scriptures – whether via traditions, folklore, or pagan religions.

The normal understanding of the natural phenomena of light and darkness needs little comment, at least at this point of this study. So let us look at the Word and see how these contrasts are used metaphorically, and then let some “light” be shed upon some critical texts.

In the Genesis account of creation, we see darkness mentioned first (Ch. 1:2), before light (vs. 3). Here, in vs. 2, I find it interesting that “darkness was over the surface of the abyss” (the deep), and that “the Spirit of Elohim was vibrating over the surface of the waters.” It is interesting to me, because the term “abyss” was commonly used to refer to deep places of water. Was Moses writing a cryptic parallelism here, or were these two phrases meant to be consecutive sentences, as they are usually interpreted? In 1 Kings 8:12 Solomon says, “But Yahweh said that He would dwell (make His habitation) in the thick darkness (or: a thick cloud; or: murkiness).” But let us move ahead to the next verse.

In vs. 3, Elohim (God) speaks, “and light came to be.” Note that in vs. 4 He “separated the light from the darkness.” So prior to this separation, they were in some way together. Then He names these: the light is Day, and the darkness is Night (vs. 5).

Paul uses this account to draw a metaphorical picture for us, in 2 Cor. 4:6, “because the God saying (or: the God Who once was saying), ‘Light will shine forth (give light as from a torch; gleam) from out of the midst of darkness,’ [is] the One who shines forth within the midst of our hearts, with a view to illumination of the intimate and experiential knowledge of God’s glory – in a face of Christ (or: [is] He Who gives light in union with our hearts, [while] facing toward an effulgence and a shining forth which is an intimate knowing of the praise-inducing manifestation whose source and origin is God, and which is God, [while] in union with face to face presence of Christ).”

So before He shines forth from out of the midst of us, darkness is upon our abyss (the depth within us, the heart and core of our being). But note that He shines forth from out of that darkness. As with creation, in Genesis One, prior to His saying, “Let light come to be,” within us, darkness and light are in some way together.

Now let’s look at the prologue of John’s gospel. Consider the following verses in Chapter 1:4. Within It (or: Him), life was continuing and progressively existing (or: In It was life [as a source]; [Aleph, D and others witnesses read present tense: In union with it there continues being life; Life progressively exists within the midst of It]). And the life was continuing being, and began progressively existing as, the Light of mankind (or: Furthermore, the Light progressively came to be the life known as humanity, and was for human beings).

5. And the Light is constantly shining and keeps on progressively giving light within the darkness (or: within the midst of The Darkness; or: = in the ignorant condition or system). And yet the darkness does not grasp or receive it on the same level (or: Furthermore, the Darkness did not take it down, so as to overcome it or put it out; or: = the ignorant condition or system would have none of it, nor receive it down into itself [in order to perceive it]; But that darkness does not correspondingly accept It nor commensurately take It in hand so as to follow the pattern or be in line with Its bidding).

Here we see that within the midst of the Logos, the Word, there is life – and now it is revealed that this life was also light – the Light of humanity. Now note that the Light is constantly shining within the midst of darkness! And it progressively gives light – in the midst of that darkness! But yet the darkness does not grasp or receive it (etc., above).

What was John saying, here? Was he speaking about the creation, or was he speaking about his present environment in first century Palestine? Let us continue reading what John says about this Logos, this Word, this Light:

9. It was (or: He was, and continued being) the True and Genuine Light which (or: Who) is continuously (repeatedly; progressively) enlightening (giving light to) every person (or: human) continuously (repeatedly; progressively; constantly; one after another) coming into the world (or: the ordered system of culture, religion, economics and government; or: the universe)(or: It was the real Light, progressively coming into the world {organized system}, which is progressively enlightening {or: shedding light on} every human).

10. It was (or: He was, and continued existing being) within the world (ordered system), and the world (ordered system) came to be (or: was birthed) through It (or: by means of Him), and the world (ordered system) did not have intimate, experiential knowledge of It (or: did not recognize Him; had no insight into It).

11. It (or: He) came into Its (or: His) own things (possessions, or people), and It’s own (or: His own) people did not receive It (or: Him) and take It (or: Him) to their side.

12. Yet, as many as receive It (or: took Him) – to the ones habitually trusting and believing into It’s Name (or: His Name) – It gives (or: He gave) to them (or: in them) authority ([the] right; privilege) to be birthed (or: to become) God’s children (born ones),

13. who are born (or: were given birth) not out of bloods (or: [flows] of blood), neither forth from the will of flesh (or: from the intent of a flesh [ceremony]) , nor yet out of the will (purpose; intent) of an adult male, but to the contrary, from out of the midst of God!

I suggest that John was speaking both of creation, and, of the situation of His people when Christ arrived on the scene. Notice vs. 5, above, and that the darkness did not receive the light (Christ). But in verses 12 and 13 we see that some did receive Him, and thus had the right to be birthed God’s children – from out of His midst! I also suggest that it was from out of the midst of Him that was within the midst of them – just as we saw with the light shining forth from out of our midst, in 2 Cor. 4:6, above.

So who, or what, was the darkness that did not receive Him? I think that the gospel narratives make this very clear: the leadership of the Jews – the Pharisee, the scribes, and most of the priests.

Speaking to Judah, in Isa. 42:6, we see God saying to them, “I, Yahweh, I call you in righteousness… and give you… for a light of the nations.” This was, of course, prophetic of the Christ, but it came first to Judah. In Isa. 49:3 we see, “And He said to me, ‘You are My servant, Israel in whom I glory.’” Then in vs. 6, “I will make you a light of (or: for) nations.” So this was Israel’s purpose: to bring light to the darkness of the nations – the ethnic multitudes. But did they do that? Sadly, no, except for making occasional proselytes, yet Jesus said of them, “you habitually go around the sea and dry [land] to make one convert (proselyte), and whenever he may become (should be birthed) [one], you proceed making him a son of the valley of Hinnom (= a person having the character and qualities of a city dump, a refuse depository [Greek: Gehenna]) twice as much as yourselves.” [Matt. 23:15]

So here in John 1 we see the true, genuine Light (Christ) coming to His own people, and shining into their darkness, and the religious folks could not receive the light. In Isa. 51:4 it says, “For teaching shall go forth from Me; My Way for the light of peoples.” So His teaching – His Word and message – was a light, and Christ Himself was “a Light to lighten the nations. (Lu. 2:32)

In Luke One Zacharias prophesied that his son John would give knowledge of salvation unto his people, and “to at once shine upon the people continuously sitting within the midst of darkness – even within death’s shadow…” (vs. 79)

If Christ was the light, and His people were sitting in darkness, what was that darkness? Certainly there were some, or all, in personal darkness, but this is speaking to the whole of Israel – it was the state and condition of the entire people. Jesus gives further explanation of this in John 3:

19. “Now this is the sifting, the separation and the decision (the evaluation; the judgment): that the Light has come (or: has gone) into the world (the universe; the ordered system and arrangement of religion, culture and government), and mankind loves (or: the people love; or: the humans loved) the darkness rather than the Light, for their works (deeds; actions) were continuing to be bad ones (unsound ones; wicked ones; labourious ones; toilsome ones that created bad news; wrongful ones),

20. “for all (or: everyone) habitually practicing (or: performing) the worthless (base; mean; common; careless; cheap; slight; paltry; sorry; vile; refuse) ones is continuously hating (regarding with ill-will) the light, and is not coming (or: going) to the light (or: the Light), so that his works (deeds; actions) may not be tested and put to the proof (and thus, exposed and perhaps reproved).

21. “Yet the one habitually doing the truth (constantly constructing the real; repeatedly making the genuine) is constantly coming (or: going; moving) toward the light (or: the Light), so that his works (deeds; actions) may be set in clear light and manifested, because they exist being ones having been worked and accomplished (or: performed as deeds) within God (or: that it is within God [that they are] ones having been acted out).”

So mankind loves the darkness rather than the Light – for their works continue being bad news and laborious, resulting in situations that are simply unsound and wrong. And those who regularly practice worthless things don’t like the Light, for it exposes the worthlessness of what they are doing. But those who dwell in the Truth are constantly wanting more light.

Now we can see that this would apply to moral questions, but what about things that would normally be considered religious, or spiritual, questions? It was the “sinners” (the cultural and religious outcasts) who loved Jesus; the super religious folks (the theologians and religious specialists – the scribes and Pharisees) rejected Him and constantly opposed Him. It was they who loved their darkness, rather than the Light.

So why was Israel in darkness? Did they not have the Law as their light? In John 5:39, Jesus said to them, “You folks continuously search (or, as an imperative: Be constantly searching) the Scriptures, because within them you, yourselves, are habitually presuming to be presently and continuously holding eonian life (or: because you folks are normally supposing for yourselves to be habitually having – in union with them – life pertaining to, and having the qualities and characteristics of, the Age [perhaps: = the life of the coming age]), and those [Scriptures] are (exist being) the ones continuously testifying about Me (constantly giving evidence concerning and bearing witness around Me).”

Jesus referred to this eonian life as the Light of life, in Ch. 8:12, “Jesus therefore again spoke to them [i.e., to those whom He had just been teaching, in vs. 2, or at a later time], saying, ‘I, Myself, am (or: continuously exist being) the Light of the world (or: of the ordered system; of the cultural, political, economic and religious arrangement; of the universe). The one habitually and progressively following Me can by no means (or: under no circumstances) walk around (= live their life) within the darkness [note: = ignorance; = that situation which existed before the Light came], but, to the contrary, he will possess (have; hold) the Light of ‘the Life!’’”

You will note that I suggest that the darkness may be a metaphor for ignorance, or for the situation which existed before the Light came. This would speak to their cultural and religious condition – their way of life. In Chapter 12 He again speaks of the darkness, “The Light continues being (or: is) among you folks, yet a little time (= for a little while). Continue walking around (= living your lives; = order your behavior) while you folks continue having the Light, so that Darkness can (or: may) not grasp you with force and take you folks down. And the one constantly walking around within the Darkness has not seen nor does he know under what place he progressively leads [his path] (or: where he is humbly going; where he is constantly withdrawing).” So here we have another glimpse of Israel’s condition. They did not see or know where their path was leading. But what is more, this darkness – what I suggest was the religious system embraced by the leadership of the Jews – could actually grasp them with force and take them down. This is what Saul (Paul before his conversion) was literally doing to those of the Light. Ignorance combined with a system of control: the very definition of religion.

In vs. 46 of this same chapter in John, Jesus says, “I, Myself a Light, have come into, and am now within, the world (the organized system of religion, culture and government; the ordered and adorned arrangement; the cosmos, or universe), to the end that everyone (all men; all) – [each] one habitually trusting and progressively believing into Me – can not (should not; may not; would not) remain (abide; dwell) within the midst of the Darkness.” So again Jesus affirms that Israel, the people to whom His earthly ministry was to come, was in darkness, but if they came to the light (His teaching; Himself) they would not remain there and continue living their life in darkness.

In his first letter to the called out communities, John has this to say about darkness in Ch. 2:8ff, “Again, (or: Once more) I am writing to you a command new in kind and quality, which is (exists being) true (actual; real) within Him, and within you [other MSS: us], that the Darkness [note: figure of the ignorance of the prior system and realm] is progressively being caused to pass by, and the True Light (or: = real knowledge and understanding; = Light of the new Day) is already (before now) progressively shining and appearing.

9. The person who keeps on speaking [thus, as though] to be within the Light, and yet is constantly hating (or: regarding with ill-will) his brother (or: = fellow believer), is a liar and continues being within the Darkness until the present moment.

10. The person habitually loving his brother constantly abides (remains; dwells) within and in union with the Light, and there exists no snare (trap-spring; stick upon which bait is put; cause for stumbling) within him.

11. But the person habitually hating (or: repeatedly having ill-will towards) his brother (or: = fellow believer or fellow man) constantly exists within the Darkness, and within the Darkness continuously walks about, and is not aware (or: knows not) where he is progressively departing (or: habitually going away), because the Darkness blinds (or: blinded) his eyes.”

First, let me point out that “the Darkness is progressively being caused to pass by, or away.” This is what Paul says in 2 Cor. 5:17, “Consequently, since (or: if) someone [is] within Christ (or: is in union with [the] Anointed One), [there is] a new (of different kind, character and quality) creation (or: framing; founding; act of creation): the original things (the beginning [situations]; the archaic and primitive [arrangements]) passed by (went to the side). Consider! New things have come into existence (have been birthed; or: It has become new things; or: He has been birthed and now exists being ones of a different kind, character and quality).” The old creation, the original arrangement (or, covenant) went to the side and passed by. The new, which is Light, has come and has displaced the darkness.

Next, we see that lack of love, or hate, is a quality of the darkness. It is a part of the shadow, of the night. But the new Day has come, and the Day Star has arisen in our hearts, driving out the darkness. Now we love because He first loved us. It was the religious zealots, such as Saul was, who hated their brothers, and brought much persecution to the called-out communities of the first century. Bringing back darkness and mixing it in again with the light (the work of the Judaisers) was what Paul was constantly fighting. Mixing law with grace still causes Christians to hate their brothers, bringing divisions and ill-will.

Jesus, speaking of treasure and money in Matt. 6:19-26, says in vs. 23, “Yet if your eye should continue being in a bad condition (or: wicked; perhaps = diseased or cloudy; may suggest stinginess or being grudging), your whole body will be (will continuously exist being) dark (or: in the dark; full of darkness). If, then, the light [which is] within the midst of you is (continually exist being) darkness, how thick [is] the darkness (or: how great and extensive [will be] the darkness)!” Whatever Jesus was meaning re: the eye being single, or being in a bad condition, consider the amazing statement that a person’s light could be darkness. Was not this the condition of the religious folks that came against Him? Was not their light (understanding; knowledge shining forth to all in contact with them) darkness? In vs. 24 He contrasts being a slave to God with being a slave to money (as opposed to trusting God for one’s needs – vs. 25, 26). Gaining wealth and power rather than care for the poor was an often-repeated failure in Israel’s history. I suggest that those goals and actions were a result of the darkness within them. These were personal moral and ethical issues, but they poisoned the culture and kept folks focusing upon the material, or, the flesh. And this, as Paul points out, is death. But it was the Law of sin and death that created this ongoing environment. Paul, speaking of himself, yet, I suggest, speaking as representing Israel, says in Rom. 7:8ff, “Yet the Sin (or: failure; the error; the mistake; the missing of the target; the deviation from the goal), taking (receiving in the hand and thus, getting) a starting point (a base of operation; an occasion; a means of beginning) through the Commandment, works (or: worked) down to effect and produce within me every full passion, strong impulse, over-desire and craving emotion upon things – for apart from law (or: a custom; or: = Torah) sin (error; failure; missing the target) [is] dead (or: [was] lifeless).

9. Now I was at one time (or: formerly) habitually living apart from law (or: I was once alive, independent from custom and [Torah]), yet, in connection with the coming of the Commandment, the Sin (or: deviation; failure; error; the missing of the target) becomes alive again (or: revived; comes back up to life), but I die (or: and I died; yet I die).

10. Also, the Commandment – the one [meant to lead] into Life – this was found by me (for me; in me; to me) [to be leading] into death.

11. For the Sin (failure; error; the miss when shooting at a target; the deviation from the goal), taking a starting point (receiving an occasion and base of operation) through the Commandment, completely makes me unable to walk the Path (made me incapable to walk out; thoroughly cheats and deludes me, making me lose my Way; deceives me) and through it kills me off (or: slaughtered me).

This was the cause of Israel’s light being darkness. But now there is the Light, “For the law (or: = principle) of the spirit of ‘The Life within Christ Jesus’ (or: For you see, the Law of Life’s spirit, within Christ Jesus; or: For the Spirit’s law of life within Christ Jesus; or: the Law of the Breath-effect, which is Life in union with [the] Anointed Jesus) frees you (or: immediately set you [other MSS: me] free) away from the Law of the Sin (the Failure; the Missing of the target; the Deviation) and the Death. (Rom. 8:2)

Some manuscripts have the following statement in Rom. 8:1, “[They] are not habitually walking around (= living their lives) in accord with (or: corresponding to) flesh.” In Gal. 5, Paul says, 14. “For, the entire Law has been fulfilled and stands filled up within one word (or: within one thought or idea; within one saying or message) – within the one: ‘You will love your near-one (your associate; your neighbor; the one close by your position), as (in the same way as; or: as he were) yourself.’ [Lev. 19:18] [note: this one “expressed thought” is the idea and purpose of the Word]

15. Now since, or if, you folks are habitually biting and repeatedly eating one another down, watch out, lest you may be used up and consumed by (or: under) one another.

16. Now I continue saying, be habitually walking about (= living your life) in spirit (or: by [the] Spirit; with a Breath-effect), and you should under no circumstance (or: would by no means) bring to fruition (carry to its goal; end up with; bring to maturity) the full rushing passion (the over-desire; craving) originating in flesh (pertaining to flesh; corresponding to flesh [righteousness]; belonging to [a religious system] of flesh). [Notice that I have added here some thoughts that Paul was not just referring to personal or moral flesh, but to flesh in a metaphorical sense, what we call “religious flesh,” or to the system of flesh sacrifices.]

17. For the flesh [system or nature] is constantly rushing passionately down upon (or: against) the spirit (or: Breath), and the spirit (or: Breath) down on (or: against) the flesh [nature, or, system of religion], for these things are constantly lying in opposition to each other (lying set to displace each other), so that – whatever you may habitually be intending (wanting; willing; purposing) – these things you repeatedly can not be doing. [note: either because of the flesh nature, or, because of the rules of the system; this was inherent in the efforts to keep the Law]

18. Yet since (or: if) you folks are continuously being led in spirit (by [the] Spirit; to [the] Spirit; with the Breath-effect), you do not exist (you are not) under Law [= the flesh system].

19. Now the works (actions; deeds) of the flesh [religion] (whose source and origin are the flesh; pertaining to the flesh [system, or, nature]; whose results and realm are the flesh) [are] seen and made apparent in clear light, which are (continue being) the works of a prostitute (or: [the] Prostitute): uncleanness, excess (immoderation; outrageous behavior), [Note: Now recall Israel’s history, e.g. Isa. 1:21, “See how the faithful city (Jerusalem) has become a harlot.” He was using the term metaphorically there, and I suggest that Paul is using it here with a double meaning.]

20. idolatry (idol worshiping), sorcery (employment of drugs and enchantments; magic rites), hostilities (enmities; alienations), strife (contentious disposition), jealousies (or: zealous emotions), stirring emotions (rushing passions; furies), factions, standings-apart (divisions), sects (religious denominations; parties with a particular opinion; the making of choices from preferences),

21. envies, murders, intoxications (times of being drunk), festal processions (or: excessive feastings), and things like to these [whether religious, or personal], which things I continue predicting (saying beforehand or: giving warning) to you folks, just as I said before, that those habitually practicing (or: performing) such [religious, or personal] things will not inherit (receive a distributed allotment of) God’s reign (kingdom; government).

Now as most, or many, of the above are often seen in churches of today, I suggest that Paul was also speaking of the works of the “flesh religion” of Judaism, as well as of paganism. Magic rites, hostilities, strife, jealousies, stirring emotions, factions, divisions, sects, etc. These were corporate and religious works of the flesh, as well as personal moral and ethical failures. The works of the flesh are works of darkness – in both cases.

Paul’s letter to the Romans was to the set-apart folks (saints) there (Ch. 1:7), many or most of whom were Jews. Therefore, in Ch. 13, he argues from the framework of the Law. Vs. 8, “… for the person who is normally loving another has fulfilled [the] Law.” Then vs. 9 quotes tenets from the Law, and vs. 10 says, “Love [is], then, that which fills up Law’s full measure (the entire contents of law and custom; the Law’s fulfillment).” In vs. 11 he admonishes those who are asleep to wake up, then in vs. 12 says, “The night advances, and the day has approached and is presently near. We should put, then, the acts (or: works) of the Darkness away from ourselves (or: take off and put away the deeds pertaining to darkness; = ignorance; that which was before the light arrived), and clothe ourselves with the instruments (tools; weapons; implements; [some MSS: works; deeds]) of Light (or: The Light).” Now this can be interpreted in a moral sense, or, it can refer to the fleshly rituals which these Jews, as well as any pagan there, had up to this point habitually practiced. Our religious humanness has a lust (an over-desire) for ritual and experience in the flesh. But Paul admonishes us to “clothe yourselves with (or: put on) the Lord, Jesus Christ, and stop (or: do not continue) making forethought (constructing provision; planning ahead; performing provident care) into excessive desires of the flesh” (vs. 14). We have moved from the shadow into the light of reality.

Paul describes this in Col. 1:12-13, “[God is] making [you; us] competent (sufficient; qualified; fit; suitable), into the divided share (portion; part) of the lot of the inheritance (allotted possession) of the set-apart folks (or: pertaining to the holy ones; belonging to the saints) within the Light, Who drags us out of danger (or: rescued us) forth from out of the midst of the authority of the Darkness (Darkness’s jurisdiction and right; = the privilege of ignorance), and changes [our] position (or: transported [us], thus, giving [us] a change of standing, and transferred [us]) into the midst of the kingdom and reign of the Son of His love.” The Darkness was the old covenant and the keeping of the Law, for the Jews, and the paganism out of which the non-Jews came.

Recall that when Paul traveled to places away from Palestine he usually went first to the synagogues, and met “with the Jew first.” So his letter to Ephesus applied to Jews, as well as to Gentiles. So note what he said in Eph. 5:

6. Let no one keep on deceiving (or: seducing) you by empty words (or: messages; reasons; thoughts; ideas), for because of these things, God’s inherent fervor (natural impulse and disposition; intrinsic teeming desire and swelling passion; or: anger; indignation) is continuously coming upon [note: cf John 3:36] the sons of The Disobedience (the in compliance; = folks having the quality of not being convinced or being disobedient).

7. Stop, therefore, becoming (or: You folks are not to continuously come to be) their joint partakers (their joint members or partners; ones sharing together with them),

8. for you folks were once existing BEING DARKNESS (!), yet (or: but) now [you are] light, within and in union with [the] Lord (= Christ or Yahweh).

9. Be constantly walking about (= Habitually conduct yourselves) as children of Light – for the fruit of the Light [other MSS: Spirit] [is] in union with (or: [exists] within the midst of) all Goodness (virtue; beneficence) Justice (fair and equitable dealing in rightwised relationships which accord with the Way pointed out) and Truth (or: Reality) –

10. repeatedly testing so as to prove (or: approve) what is (or: continually exists being) fully pleasing and compatible (happily acceptable; well pleasing; good pleasure) to (or: for; in) the Lord (= Christ or Yahweh).

11. And do not continually participate together (involve yourselves in joint communion or community; or: Stop having fellowship together) in unfruitful acts (works; deeds; performances) of the Darkness [= the ignorance; = the lack of Light], but rather even be continually questioning and cross-examining to expose (making facts known), refute and reprove to bring conviction (= bring light to them).

The empty words (vs. 6) could have been pagan philosophies, Jewish myths, or Gnostic thinking – for all of these were prevalent in those times and places. But all those folks “were once existing being darkness” (vs. 8), and now Paul admonishes them to stop having fellowship together in the unfruitful acts of that darkness – whether they were religious acts, or immoral acts.

In Eph. 4:18, he is referring to the darkness of the pagans (non-Israelites), but through contact with these peoples, and from their own focusing upon their carnal desires, the Jews became the same, for, “being folks having been, any still yet being, darkened in (or: by) the divided thought and the thing passing through the mind, having been and continuing being alienated (estranged) away from the Life of God (or: God’s life; or the life which is God) – through the ignorance continuously existing (or: being) within them [and] through the petrifying (becoming stone) of their heart.” The stony heart was a characteristic of Israel when they lived their lives in straying from Yahweh.

In Romans 11 Paul quotes David in reference to Israel,

9. And David is saying, “Let their table be birthed into a snare (a trap) and into a wild beast trap-net and into a trap-stick, even into a repayment to them (for them; in them).

10. “Let their eyes be DARKENED, to not see, and let them bend (or: bow) their back together [in bondage] through all (or: every [situation]).” [Ps. 69:23-24]

Note the Jewish context that Peter uses in 1 Peter 2, and note that they were called out of darkness:

Yet you folks [are] “a picked-out (selected; chosen) offspring (family; kin; lineage; race; species; breed) [Isa. 43:20; Deut. 7:6], a royal (kingly; palace) priesthood [Ex. 19:6; Isa. 61:6], a set-apart (holy; consecrated) multitude (company; nation; body of people living together; swarm; association; ethnic group; caste) [Ex. 19:6], a people constructed into an encirclement (made into a surrounding structure; set as a perimeter; made into a performance about [Him]; formed around as an acquisition; gathered into a surrounding [flock])” [Isa. 43:21; Ex. 19:5] – so that you may tell forth the message of (or: out-message; publish; declare abroad) the excellencies and qualities of nobleness (virtues of braveness, courage, good character, quality, self-restraint, magnificence, benevolence, reliability) of the One calling you OUT OF DARKNESS into His wonderful (marvelous; amazing) light [p72 reads: into the wonderful Light].”

In conclusion – and I could go on – may I suggest that when you consider the “darkness” in this world, or in the “heavens (see my study on this topic),” that you think first of religion – including Christianity. And, when you read in the NT of darkness, that you see if the context might well be referring to “the Law (= Torah), having and holding a shadow of the impending good things – not the very image or same likeness of those things (of the matters; of the practices or deeds done) – [which] is not even once able (or: never has power) at any point to perfect (bring to the goal, finish, complete or mature) those folks repeatedly coming near (approaching) by offering the same sacrifices every year, on into the whole length (or: extended or stretched into the unbroken continuance) [of its existence]. (Heb. 10:1) But just as in the beginning (Gen. 1) God called forth the light from out of the darkness, so was Christ called forth out of the darkness of the Law which prophesied His coming, and God was once again saying, “Let there be Light!” And thus came to be the new creation, the new Day, the new Humanity.

Just as darkness has a purpose in the economy of God’s natural creation, He has used it throughout all His purpose of the ages. There was, or is, a purpose for darkness being within us: it provides the needed background and contrast for the Light. It is the very womb of the Morning.

Jonathan

PS: For your consideration: The kingdom of those who were adversarial to the coming of the Light, soon had their “kingdom” darkened, “Next the fifth one poured (or: at once pours) out his bowl (or: cup) upon the throne of the little wild animal (creature; beast [= the rule of those who mind the flesh, and its beast nature]) – and its kingdom (or: reign) came to being made dark (or: had been darkened), and they were biting their tongues from the painful labor (misery; travail; hard toil). (Rev. 16:10) This is like the gnashing of teeth of the leadership of the Jews being cast into outer darkness – the darkness of ignorance outside the light of reality and understanding – when the kingdom was taken from them and given to another (Matt. 21:43).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


ON DARKNESS [Jonathan Mitchell] 1-12-09         1

 

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