The Edge of Darkness

All Scripture references are taken from the NASB translation unless otherwise stated.

In 1956 a soap opera with the name “The Edge of Night” was introduced to daytime television and lasted until 1984; the long-running episodes were concurrently produced by CBS and ABC. This statement about this epic show is made only because of the title given to this article which was sort of a subtitle for the soap. But, as I look at it there is a difference between darkness and night. Night is but a few hours long and the idea of darkness is seeming without end; no possible end in sight. However, what we know from the Word of God is as the night will end in a few hours from the moment the impending shadows are grown from the retreating sun.

Retreat From The Light

Darkness is a spiritual and evil retreat produced by Satan and the spiritual light of righteousness that comes from God. What we know from experience and by reading the Word of God, darkness is simply the absence of light, but the darkness cannot comprehend the light. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. 9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.” John 1:1-9 NASB.

These early verses of the Gospel of John are the introduction to the true story of God’s entrance to upon the stage of humanity. The Greek word used by the writer is ‘λόγος’ and the English transliteration is ‘Logos,’ and Jesus is the ‘Logos,’ the living Word. Jesus is the God-man or God becoming flesh. What we know from reading this text is that the Logos was needed for the Creation as we understand it from reading Genesis chapters 1-3 for “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” John 1:3. With that one simple statement, we discover that this man Jesus has a strong connection with Creator God. But wait a minute for there is more; much more. “he Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. 26 But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” John 10:24-30.

Jesus speaks of God being His Father and that He gives eternal life tho those who believe in Him, AND that He and the Father, God, are one and the same Person. For the Jewish leaders serving in the Temple in Jerusalem, this was blasphemy and a reason for death.

What we witness in the Gospel Narratives, all of them; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, is the retreat from the light of God, His righteousness, His Son, the Logos; a retreat from Jesus Christ the Messiah. The Light, the righteousness of God, is introduced into the darkness which had crept onto the scene of mankind way back in the beginning of time, Genesis 3:1-5 gives witness to the entrance of sin into the heart of mankind, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

The Light of Righteousness Separates from the Darkness of Sin

Have you ever observed how oil and water will separate when introduced together in a dish? Simply stated, the chemical nature of oil and water molecules are different and cannot mix. The same idea is true for darkness and light cannot mix. However, there is an enormous difference between light and dark: darkness exists until the light is presented. AND there is another extreme difference between the light of God as opposed to the darkness of Satan. God has always been; His righteousness has always been. God simply is just as His righteousness. Satan introduced unrighteousness because he CHOSE to disobey God. He chose to want to be like God and because of His unrighteousness he was removed from a place of importance as an angel, a created being. “You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.” Ezekiel 28:14-15. A similar note is made in Isaiah 12:14-15, but this note must be attached.

(The contexts from these two biblical texts tell us that these statements primarily concern themselves with Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon. However, the evidence also relates to Satan. What we must understand about the Bible is simple; we are able to make the application of a biblical reference to more than one. And, yes, it is possible and is sometimes done, to make an application of a biblical text which absolutely inappropriate and great care must be taken.)

God is Sovereign over all things because He is Creator of all things, and this includes the angels and the angels who rebelled and were removed from their places close to the Throne of God. This indicates that there is a great divide that separates God’s righteousness and Satan’s unrighteousness; Light and Darkness.

“In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:4-5. Did you see what John writes? “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.” John now tells us that Jesus is both life and light, and that life shines in the darkness which does not comprehend the light. The entirety of the 4 Gospel narratives demonstrates many times the differences between light and darkness, Satan and Jesus Christ. The most remarkable instance is the meeting of Jesus and Satan in the wilderness, “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry.” Luke 4:1-2, but the entire event is in verses 1-13. The very last temptation ends with Jesus condemning Satan with these words, “It is said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.” verse 12. And this is what a person in rebellion, in denial of Jesus Christ does. This is what sin is; testing of the Lord.

One of the best examples of this ‘testing of God’ is found in John 8:1-12 an example of the Light shining in darkness, “The scribes and the Pharisees *brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, 4 they *said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” 6 They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. 7 But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” This confrontation speaks of ‘testing.’ Not one stone was cast at the woman and her accusers fled the scene, but Jesus is left alone with her. He was with the ‘darkness’ among the Pharisees and is with the ‘darkness’ of the woman. “He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” John 8:9b-11. The Pharisees were speechless and the woman was without recourse, and Jesus simply tells her to “sin no more.” The starkness between His light their darkness is remarkable.

The sin of the Pharisees, the lawyers among the Jewish leadership and the sin of the woman caught in adultery is similar: ignorance concerning their darkness and unrighteousness before the Law of God. No doubt these people knew of Jesus because of the miracles and teaching in and around Jerusalem, but to meet Him as they do, no doubt is enlightening. His words are penetrating, “neither do I condemn you.”

The Light Brings Judgment

Recalling the words of Jesus to Nicodemus, “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” John 3:18-21.

What we find here is the fact that those who refuse to accept the gift of eternal life by faith will find themselves condemned because of their evil. Jesus is speaking to Jewish people, remember and can say to them that they must practice the righteousness of the Law in order to come to the light, but Jesus’ as Light and Righteousness changes everything. No longer do righteous acts produce a relationship with God. Paul writes in Ephesians 2:4-10, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

Christ expresses both the Light of Righteousness and the Word of Truth in the darkness of the world. Are you understanding this truth?

Jesus is Lord.

 

 

 

About Bob Williford

Conservative Southern Baptist pastor, missionary, and personal evangelist. An avid supporter of Texas Tech Athletics. Enjoy oil painting, writing and woodworking. My wife, children, and grandchildren are my joy. Reading and writing are great for relaxing......
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