LET THERE BE LIGHT
By John C. Carpenter
 
Holy Scriptures instruct us In the beginning God created [physically] the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good [beautiful, best, better, bountiful, loving, kind, merry, sweet]: and God divided [separated, distinguished, divided, severed] the light from the darkness (Gen 1:1-4). Within these initial verses of the Old Covenant, God the Father reveals to us His eternal purpose for creation: the separation of light from dark, both physical and spiritual. In this issue, our focus is upon God’s separation of spiritual light and dark.
 
DARKNESS WAS UPON THE FACE OF THE DEEP
 
We know that In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form [a worthless thing, a thing of nought, a vanity], and void [superficially an undistinguishable ruin, empty]; and darkness was upon the face [presence, nature] of the deep [abyss; i.e., depths of vanity]. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters [wasting, vanity] (Gen 1:1-2). Not only was creation initially an indistinguishable, empty ruin, seemingly without purpose and meaning, but Scriptures tell us “darkness” permeated the very essence of creation. What is this darkness that God is referring to here in Genesis, that He divided from light? In our subject verses, the Hebrew word for “darkness” is “choshek,” which means “dark, night, or obscurity.” Obscurity is defined as “something concealed, hidden, unseen, covered, remote, not clearly understood, not clearly expressed or revealed.” Throughout the Old and New Covenants, darkness often refers to things hidden or unseen. Symbolically, darkness refers to ignorance or lack of understanding. Speaking to Cyrus, God said, ...I will give thee the treasures of darkness [obscure], and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel (Isa 45:3). Paul wrote believers in Corinth, Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden [concealed] things of darkness, and will make manifest [cause to appear, reveal] the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God (1 Cor 4:5). After giving the parable of the sower, Christ said, For there is nothing hid [not revealed, private], which shall not be manifested [made apparent]; neither was any thing kept secret [treasured, hidden], but that it should come abroad [made to appear] (Mark 4:22). After healing a blind man, Jesus explained, ...For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not [do not perceive or do not understand] might see; and that they which see might be made blind (John 9:39). Referring to the wicked, Asaph wrote, They know not, neither will they understand; they walk [live] on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course (Psa 82:5). Transgressors against God, ...wait for light, but behold obscurity [lack of revelation; i.e., lack of understanding]; for brightness [revelation and understanding], but we walk in darkness (Isa 59:9). Jesus told some scribes and Pharisees, ...I am the light of [God the Father’s revelation of Himself to] the world: he that followeth me shall not walk indarkness [lack of understanding about salvation through faith in Christ], but shall have the light of [revelation and understanding that results in eternal] life (John 8:12). Lastly, speaking to some who did not recognize Him as the Son of Man, Christ responded,...Yet a little while is the light [revelation of God through Christ personally and physically on earth] with you. Walk while ye have the light [revelation], lest darkness [blindness, inability to see or understand] come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth”(John 12:35). The heathen walk in darkness, and are blind: They have mouths, but they speak not: [physical] eyes have they, but they see not [do not spiritually understand] (Psa 115:5). Christ angrily told some Pharisees, If ye [admitted ye] wereblind [did not understand that faith in Christ was necessary for salvation], ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see [you claim to understand and have saving faith, when you really don‘t]; therefore your sin remaineth (John 9:41), while Paul explained to those in Corinth that For now [in this life] we[believers] see [perceive and understand God] through a glass, darkly [with distortion, unclearly]; but then [in eternity] see face to face [clearly]: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known (1 Cor 13:12). In the Old Covenant, Moses saw the invisible God: By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible (Heb 11:24-27). Scriptures teach us that even the believer has faith and operates in the unseen. They tell us By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out,not knowing whither he went (Heb 11:7-8). The apostle John clearly teaches that darkness refers to lack of understanding and error when he wrote, 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 (1 John 1:6-8). The individual who says he does not have sin is walking in deception, error, untruth, and darkness. Scriptures also instruct us that believers walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7), and that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things [eternal life which is as of this moment] not seen (Heb 11:1). Paul clarifies that darkness refers to secret and hidden things when he instructs believers in Ephesus to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of [works done in] darkness [secrecy], but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret (Eph 5:11-12). Paul wrote the Corinthians, Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them (2 Cor 4:1-4). Even the very life of the believer is hid with Christ in God (Col 3:3).
 
LET THERE BE LIGHT
 
In the beginning, even before the creation of man on day six, God’s creation, nature, and purposes were obscure, unseen, and hidden. God needed something to contrast and offset the darkness. God needed and wanted to make His creation, nature, and purposes visible, so He spoke, ...Let there be light: and there was light (Gen 1:3). What did God mean by “light?” In verse 3, the word “light” is the Hebrew word “owr,” which means “illumination, luminary, bright, clear, day, light, morning, or sun.” In context, light is best defined here as illumination, or that process whereby something is made visible, known, or understood. As Paul taught, But all things that are reproved are made manifest [made apparent, manifested, revealed] by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest [apparent] is light (Eph 5:13). This light which God spoke into being on day one of creation is clearly not a reference to the light made available by God’s creation of the sun and moon, which took place later on day four of creation (Gen 1:14-19). In short, God wanted to bring to light [reveal] all things, physical and spiritual, which had previously been only in darkness [unseen, unknown]. For example, at the beginning of Christ’s ministry, Scriptures instruct us, The people which sat in darkness [had not yet seen Christ] saw great light [to shine or make manifest, luminousness]; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of [were destined to experience] death light is sprung up (Mat 4:16). This light, or manifestation, was, of course, Christ. To encourage them to spread the gospel through their good works, Christ told His disciples, Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Mat 5:14-16). Christ commanded His original twelve disciples,What I tell you in darkness [obscurity; i.e., private], that speak ye in light [manifest; i.e., publicly, openly]: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops (Mat 10:27). Upon seeing the newborn Jesus, a just and devout Jew named Simeon referred to Christ as A light [manifestation] to lighten[bring revelation and understanding to] the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel (Luke 2:32). Referring to unbelievers who had rejected Christ even though they had physically seen Him, the Lord explained, The light [illuminator] of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single [seeing clearly], thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil [diseased], thy body also is full of darkness [opaque]. Take heed therefore that the light [manifestation, luminousness] which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light (Luke 11:34-36). Referring to Jesus Christ, the apostle John instructs us,In him was life; and the life was the light of [manifestation, revelation unto] men. And the light [manifestation of Christ] shineth[shown itself, appeared] in darkness [to those who did not understand salvation through faith in Christ]; and the darkness [those who rejected Christ] comprehended[to understand and take eagerly] it not (John 1:4-5). Immediately after these verses, the apostle John, referring to John the Baptist, adds, There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light [revelation of Christ], that all men through him might believe. He [John the Baptist] was not that Light [revelation], but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light [manifestation], which lighteth [illuminates, enlightens] every man that cometh into the world (John 1:6-9). Speaking to some scribes and Pharisees, Christ said, ...I am the light of [my Heavenly Father’s revelation unto] the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of [the revelation and understanding which leads to eternal] life (John 8:12). Christ said, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind [those in darkness], to set at liberty them that are bruised (Luke 4:18). Jesus told two disciples of John the Baptist, ...Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached (Luke 7:22). Referring to the Lord God, David said, For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness (Psa 18:28), while the apostle Paul prayed for the church in EphesusThat the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints (Eph 1:17-18). The individual is enlightened when he or she comes to a God given wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ resulting in the knowledge and understanding of the hope of God’s calling and the abundant glory of eternal inheritance.
 
GOD DIVIDED THE LIGHT FROM THE DARKNESS
 
At the beginning of creation, God the Father decided that His eternal purpose for both physical and spiritual creation was the separation of darkness from light. Scriptures tell us, And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided [distinguished, separated] the light from the darkness (Gen 1:4). Holy Scriptures support this concept throughout. For example, David spoke unto the Lord For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness (2 Sam 22:29). While contrasting believers from unbelievers, Christ prayed, ...I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things [of the Kingdom] from the wise and prudent [arrogant, rebellious], and hast revealed them unto babes [humble, submissive]: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight (Luke 10:21). Referring to the eternal consequences of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, Christ concluded, For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops (Luke 12:2-3). In the Old Covenant, God the Father also made a reference to bringing light into darkness when He spoke through the prophet Jeremiah, Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show [bring to light] thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not [that are now in darkness and hidden from you] (Jer 33:3). Writing believers in Corinth, Paul and Sosthenes referred to God’s revelation of the hidden wisdom of salvation through Christ when they wrote, Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery [secret, hidden], even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hathrevealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God (1 Cor 2:6-10). Paul referred to the invisible things of God becoming visible when he wrote those in Rome, For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse (Rom 1:18-20). Paul said Christ is the [manifested, revealed, visible] image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him (Col 1:15-16). Paul likewise wrote those in Ephesus, I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery [secret, hidden], which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God (Eph 3:7-10). Although God is clearly a God of unity (Deut 6:4; Psa 133:1; Eph 4:3; Eph 4:13) in one sense, God the Father is a God of separation and division. Regarding relationships with unbelievers, those who are blind to Christ, God even instructed the believer to come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you (2 Cor 6:17). Regarding the second coming of Christ and the separation of believers from unbelievers, Scriptures instruct us, When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Mat 25:31-34). Lastly, in making His point that He must come before everything else, Christ plainly said, Think not that I am come to send peace [to join together, to set at one again] on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance [to separate] againsthis father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it (Mat 10:34-39). From the moment of creation, God the Father’s eternal meaning and purpose for heaven and earth, which included mankind, was the separation of light from darkness, the seen from the unseen, the visible from the invisible, the known from the unknown, the understood from the misunderstood, the good from the evil, and even the sheep from the goats. From day one, God made His will and intention clear when He “divided the light from the darkness.” AMEN
 
 
THE CHRISTIAN HERALD
                                                           A Judeo-Christian Bible Study
 
"Teach me
to do thy will;
for thou art
my God: thy
spirit
is good; lead
me into the
land of
uprightness"
(Psa 143:10)



Home

Our
Beliefs

TCH
Articles

Study
Aids

Links

Subject-Verse
Index

Books