Delivered from the Power of Darkness

Fred R. Coulter—September 22, 2012

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to Sabbath services, the Sabbath before the Day of Atonement. This world is certainly being deceived by Satan the devil, just exactly as it says in Rev. 12:9, that he is 'deceiving the whole world.' We see things now with so much deception, so much deceit, it's just like a blanket that is just woven around the earth

  • to contain it in darkness
  • to keep it from life
  • to keep the Truth from shining through

We have a prophecy in Isaiah 60 that talks about the end-time, the way it is right now, and how it's going to be. We are progressing to a time where there is going to be

  • more and more sin
  • more and more darkness
  • more and more difficulty
  • more and more blindness

We're going to see why. We understand that the power behind it is Satan the devil. This is why on the Day of Atonement that day pictures getting rid of Satan.

Isaiah 60:2: "For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people… [This is one of the songs in the Messiah by Handel—gross darkness.] (but then he gives the solution): …but the LORD shall arise upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you." This gross darkness is on the earth, covering the earth.

How does it get there? In addition to Satan, it's also the actions of the people! Everything we do we function within law, the laws that God has created, and we're judged by law. The world is under law! Those who have the Holy Spirit of God within them, because God is directly within them, are the only ones under grace.

People in the world can receive some grace, but they are not under grace. Under grace defines your relationship with God. Under law defines how God deals with everyone in the world. There are certain set things that happen when people

  • go against God
  • go against His Word
  • go against His laws
  • go against His commandments

and sin and do the things that they want to do. Another way of putting it is spiritual drunkenness!

Jeremiah 13:15 tells how the darkness comes: "Hear and give ear; do not be proud; for the LORD has spoken…. [The key thing that we always understand, the three words: Obey My voice!] …Give glory to the LORD your God, before He causes darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains, and, while you look for light, He turns it into the shadow of death, making it gross darkness." (vs 15-16).

Remember, one of the curses that came upon the Egyptians and Pharaoh in Egypt and also one of the curses that comes upon the capital of the beast is gross darkness! Darkness they can feel! Darkness that was so heavy that it brought pain and agony!

Verse 17, the key: "But if you will not hear it, my [Jeremiah's] soul shall weep in secret places for your pride. And my eye shall weep sore and run down with tears because the LORD'S flock is carried away captive." They closed their eyes!

Isn't it something how this is described in the Bible. It is the spirit of darkness, the spirit of deception, and we're going to see that Satan the devil is the one who is in charge of all of this. He is the 'god of this world.' Let's see how he operates; that it is a spiritual thing that occurs.

Of course, we were all in the same condition at one time before we received the Spirit of God. It also shows another thing, spiritually not only are we blind, but we are also dead in sins and trespasses, as Paul writes in Eph. 2:1—we are as good as dead. That's why we need to understand how we can come out of it and why God is going to get rid of Satan the devil as pictured by the coming Day of Atonement. Here's our condition before God calls us:

Ephesians 2:1: "Now you were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you walked in times past … [that shows that it is a way of life and we're going to see that that way of life is darkness, fear and bondage] …according to the course of this world… [just the way that the world is] …according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working within the children of disobedience" (vs 1-2).

Satan is there with all of his power, all of his ability to transmit, to send messages, plus all the high-tech things that he uses and employs, as well. Working within is an attitude! It's a mindset in "…the children of disobedience."

Verse 3: "Among whom also we all once had our conduct in the lusts of our flesh, doing the things willed by the flesh and by the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest of the world." There we are out in the darkness, out in the world, out in the way so we have the spirit of deception.

Let's see what it says about the spirit of this world, and what it leads to. It talks about how we receive the Holy Spirit of God; how the Holy Spirit of God leads us to understand even the deep things of God, and that no man can understand the things of God without the Spirit of God.

Paul writes, 1-Corinthians 2:9: "But according as it is written, 'The eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.' But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things—eventhe deep things of God" (vs 9-10). Brethren,

  • God is the One Who makes the dividing line!
  • God is the One Who calls us out of this darkness!
  • God is the One Who has given of His Spirit so we can understand!

The Spirit of God brings light to us.

Verse 11: "For who among men understands the things of man except by the spirit of man which is in him? In the same way also, the things of God no one understands except by the Spirit of God."

Here is what the spirit of Satan the devil, the spirit of darkness brings, v 12: "Now, we have not received the spirit of the world…" Who is the prince of the power of the air? The spirit of that is now inner-working in the 'children of disobedience,' none other than Satan the devil!

"…but the Spirit that is of God, so that we might know the things graciously given to us by God; which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Holy Spirit in order to communicate spiritual things by spiritual means" (vs 12-13). We're not having the spirit of this world!

Notice: the mind that is blinded, the mind that is in darkness, the mind that is under the power of Satan the devil describes a carnal mind, in a very similar way that it does in Rom. 8:7.

Verse 14: "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned."

Let's see how Paul amplifies this a little more:

  • the spirit of the world
  • the spirit of fear
  • the spirit of bondage

This is why none in the world are going to understand the things that are taking place.

Romans 8:14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God…. [which then tells us that if you don't have the Spirit of God then you're not the sons of God] …Now, you have not received a spirit of bondage again unto fear…"  (vs 14-15)—because the spirit of darkness, the spirit of blindness and the gross darkness is showing that people are in the grips of sin—the spirit of bondage—in bondage of sin and unto fear. We had the spirit of bondage before we were converted.

Paul said, "…but you have received the Spirit of sonship, whereby we call out, 'Abba, Father'" (v 15). The things are totally changed. This is something! Jesus even spoke of this, of what it is about human beings that can be discerned. That is the spirit of Satan that is inner-working in the children of disobedience:

  • those who have given themselves over to gross sin
  • those who follow Satan's ways

Satan is there controlling the world, and he doesn't want us to attain to the Kingdom of God. That's why we're going to see that our fight is against the wicked spirits in high places.

The eyes reflect something of your inner-character, your inner-spirit, and that's why the Bible talks about an evil eye. When you see people who are dedicated criminals given over to evil they do have an evil look in their eyes. This verifies what Jesus said here:

Matthew 6:22: "The light of the body is the eye. Therefore, if your eye be sound… [How can it be sound? With the Truth of God, the Spirit of God!] …your whole body shall be full of light…. [notice the contrast, the difference]: …But if your eye be evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. Therefore, if the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness!" (vs 22-23). Then Jesus shows something else: You cannot serve God when you are in the spirit of darkness! The spirit of bondage! The spirit of fear!

Brethren, let must just state something here very important: This is why the Churches of God are not to be run on fear! They are to be run on grace, love, Truth, power, Light and instruction from God. That's how they are to be run!

Let's see how Jesus spoke of this in John 3. He brings out some very important things. Also, we are going to see that the world cannot understand, because their eyes have been blinded because of the darkness. They want the blessings of God, even though they're still living in sin. They quote the verse about God loving the world giving 'His only begotten Son, that whomsoever believes on Him may not perish but may have everlasting life' (John 3:16). But they don't go on to explain how that occurs. A lot of people are claiming this, but they never come to the Light.

John 3:19: "And this is the judgment: that the Light… [Who is Christ and the way of God] …has come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than the light because their works were evil."

Let's see what else John wrote about it; let's see what this light is, John 1:4: "In Him was life… [the One Who was the Word, Who was God, Who became flesh] …and the life was the light of men. And the Light shines in the darkness… [Christ does; His Spirit does] …but the darkness does not comprehend it" (vs 4-5). Why isn't it comprehended by those who are in the world, though they hear it?

John 3:19: "But men loved darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who practices evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light…" Practicing evil means that you live in evil, your way is evil, as described by Eph. 2, according to the 'prince of the power of the air,' according to the course of this world.

Practicing evil hates the Light, and does not come to the light "…so that his works may not be exposed" (v 19). The Word of God, the Truth of God, the Spirit of God exposes evil for what it is, so that we might repent, that we might change, that we might grow!

On the other hand, it shows the difference, v 21: "But the one who practices the Truth comes to the Light, so that his works may be manifested, that they have been accomplished by the power of God."

Here's another thing to consider: Those who have already come to the Light, already been converted, already have received the Spirit of God; if they turn and start walking away from the Light, at first they still have the Light shining behind them. They don't think there is much change, and this is how Satan brings in things incrementally, a bit at a time to lead you away from the Light; to lead you away from the Truth! But if you come to Christ, it's going to be revealed that your works are done in Him.
Let's see how this is done. If you're walking in darkness you are blind! As it says in Isa. 59 that at noon day, because of our sins, we walk as in darkness, groping, because we don't know where we're going.

After talking to the multitudes in parables, Jesus explained why, and here are the things that automatically happen. Matthew 13:11: "And He answered and said to them, 'Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it has not been given."

Verse 13: "For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing, they see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand." Because the one who is darkness is practicing evil and is of Satan the devil and doesn't want to practice the Truth; doesn't want to do what is right. But also, there are choices that everyone has to make, because God never removes free choice form anyone.

Verse 14: "And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, 'In hearing you shall hear, and in no way understand; and in seeing you shall see, and in no way perceive; for the heart of this people has grown fat, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and should hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them'" (vs 14-15).

God allows that deliberate blinding. They choose it! That's what they get! Then they come under the power of darkness! Let's see what the Gospel is to do. Here is Paul explaining about why he was sent, the power of the Scriptures:

Let's see how Paul was explaining the calling that he had. Here's what Christ told him after he was knocked down to the ground, Acts 26:14: "Then all of us fell to the ground; and I heard a voice speak to me, saying in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the pricks.' And I said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said, 'I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting. Now arise, and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose: to appoint you as a minister and a witness both of what you have seen and what I shall reveal to you. I am personally selecting you from among the people and the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the authority of Satan to God, so that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified through faith in Me'" (vs 14-18).

If you are in darkness, you are under the authority of Satan the devil! He is the one who is causing that and it's happening.

Now let's come to the Epistle of First John. There are the comparisons here between light and darkness. It shows, again, the dividing line. Brethren, we need to understand that the dividing line is clear.

  • you have the Spirit of God
  • you love God
  • you obey God
  • you keep His commandments
  • you're walking in the Light
  • you're sanctified by the Truth
  • you have Christ in you
  • you are under grace

You cannot have a cleaver counterfeit, because a clever counterfeit will have many Scriptural things, because it is led by the spirit of darkness, rather than by the Spirit of Christ:

  • there are going to misinterpretations
  • there are going to be things that are not correct
  • there are going to be lies
  • there are going to be the breaking of the commandments of God

saying that they have grace 'to interpret anything the way that we want to,' and that everything else of the Word of God has been done away. That is a clever, clever counterfeit and that is darkness. When people accept that, they put themselves under the power of darkness and under the power of Satan the devil.

Satan wants you 'happy' and 'content,' under his control. That's why some people are so locked in to the counterfeit Christianity of this world. Here again we see the contrast. We see the contrast all the way through the New Testament. Just like Paul wrote, that he was called to bring people out of darkness, unto the light, just as John wrote in John 3.

Here in 1-John he talks about 'our fellowship with God the Father and Jesus Christ': 1-John 1:3: "That which we have seen and have heard we are reporting to you in order that you also may have fellowship with us; for the fellowship—indeed, our fellowship—is with the Father and with His own Son Jesus Christ." This is the key thing that he is starting out this whole epistle with. We've got a very in-depth series going through the Epistles of John—1st, 2nd & 3rd John—and we cover many verses showing the difference.

All the way through the New Testament, all the way through the things that are done, God is revealing that there are two ways to go:

  • the way of the world
  • the way of God

You can't mix the two. Let's see how John describes it, v 4: "These things we are also writing to you, so that your joy may be completely full. And this is the message that we have heard from Him and are declaring to you: that God is Light, and there is no darkness at all in Him" (vs 4-5).

Part of the way some of the religions explain it is, especially the Gnostics at that time, that there are 'varying degrees of enlightenment, and that the demigod who created the earth is on the lowest level and in darkness.' This is why John is writing it this way: "…there is no darkness at all in Him."

Notice how he begins to make it clear that you cannot combine together the way of the world and Satan with the way of God, v 6: "If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him… [have the Spirit of God, love God, keep His commandments, etc.] …but we are walking in the darkness…"

What are the people doing who are walking in darkness and claim to be Christian? They're keeping Sunday! Keeping Easter! Keeping Halloween! Keeping Christmas! All of those things are of darkness, of sin and Satan—not of God! But very few people are willing to accept that and to repent of it, and to understand the Truth concerning it.

We have to walk in the Light, and as we saw in John 3, be coming to the Light. Then we have to be practicing the Truth! That means living by the Truth! So, you can't combine it.

Verse 6: "If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him, but we are walking in the darkness, we are lying to ourselves, and we are not practicing the Truth…. [no liar has the Holy Spirit within him] …However, if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin" (vs 6-7).

Then he hits on something that's very important, because those who believe in a false Christianity and are walking in darkness believe that if they accept Jesus Christ they have no sin, they cannot sin. Now they're walking in the 'twilight zone.' They may have a little of the Truth of God, but they're walking in deception and not in Truth. All of that is of Satan the devil.

There were people who were saying it then, and there are people who are saying it now, and I've actually talked to people who are absolutely convinced that they have been 'born again' and now, in this condition with their sins forgiven, they cannot sin. Therefore, they don't have to do anything concerning the laws and commandments of God.
Well, I don't think that they have read or studied the Epistle of First John, or Second John, or Third John. Notice what he says, and this is also a part of the New Age religion: no such thing as sin; sin is only what you may think sin may be. But really you're good, and all you have to do is tap into the good that is in you and 'find the god within yourself,' which then is pure satanism!

Verse 8: "If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the Truth is not in us." If you should lie to yourself you believe your own lie and you deceive yourself—right? Well, that's exactly what they do here. On the other hand, if we are 'walking in the Light as He is in the Light' and we are being cleansed from all sin, notice how that is done. It says, 'If we are walking in the Light as He is in the Light' the blood of Jesus 'cleanses us from all sin.

Verse 9: "If we confess our own sins… [to God] …He is faithful and righteous, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness…. [Notice the difference between light and darkness; good and evil; fellowship or deception.] …If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us" (vs 9-10).

  • God cannot lie!
  • God is the God of Truth!
  • His Spirit is the Spirit of Truth!
  • His laws and commandments are Truth!
  • They are spiritual, and they are spiritually understood!
  • Those in darkness are deceived!
  • Those under the sway of Satan the devil don't understand!

Notice how John continues, because this becomes a complete indictment on the way that this world is run and on the counterfeit Christianity that has overwhelmed even the Churches of God and is completely controlling the Christianity of this world.

John 2:1: "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin…."

  • If we're practicing the Truth we're not sinning.
  • If we're repenting of the sins we have, those are washed away.
  • If we are bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Jesus Christ and letting the Holy Spirit wash us with the washing of the water by the Word, to cleanse our mind and sanctify us
  • we are growing
  • overcoming
  • not of this world
  • we are not blinded
  • we know the Truth

"…And yet, if anyone does sin… [we still have human nature that we need to overcome] …we have an Advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the Righteous—and He is the propitiation… [continual mercy seat with His atoning blood, His sacrifice for justification and payment sin] …for our sins; and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (vs 1-2). If we know the Holy Days of God, we know how God is going to apply it to the whole world. He hasn't done it yet, but He will.

Verse 3: "And by this standard…" You have to have a standard; you have to know that you know God; you have to know that you know. There are a lot of people who profess God; there are a lot of people who say they believe in God; but they're just like the demons. The demons believe in God, but they don't obey Him! Our belief has to be that which brings us out of darkness into the light. It has to bring us to the point of repentance and conversion and growing and overcoming and a continuous process of this.

Let's see how John explains it here: "…we know that we know Him: if we keep His commandments" (v 3). He's defining it very clearly. How do we keep the commandments of God today? We have them written in our heart and mind by the power of God's Spirit, so that we keep the commandments of God from within! It is a perfect law. It is a law of love! It is a law of goodness! You can't receive the Spirit of God or the Light of God if you are walking in sin and walking in darkness. You make yourself a liar!

Remember, it said 'we make God a liar.' Let's see what happens if we deny that we are bound to keep the commandments of God. This is while we are under grace. Do you think that God is going to give His Spirit to be within someone who is a sinner and refuses to repent and keeps on sinning? Of course not! Do you think someone is going to be in personal contact with God with the power of the Holy Spirit who walks in darkness? Of course not!

Verse 4: "The one who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him." If the Truth is not in him, the Light is not in him, because

  • the Truth is Light!
  • Christ is Light!
  • the commandments are Light!

On the other hand, look at the difference, see the contrast as he does all the way through this epistle, v 5: "On the other hand, if anyone is keeping His Word, truly in this one the love of God is being perfected…. [That's what He wants to happen—correct? Be perfected in the love of God!] …By this means we know that we are in Him."

Now let's see the goal, the standard and how this is to be applied in our lives, v 6: "Anyone who claims to dwell in Him is obligating himself also to walk... [We're coming to the Light! We are walking in the Truth! To walk how?] …even as He Himself walked." Think of that! As Jesus Christ Himself walked, that's how we're to walk!

Let's see some other things. What about our behavior? What about how we treat the brethren? Verse 8: "Again, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining…. [We're coming out of it. However, here is the contrast again.] …Anyone who claims that he is in the Light, but hates his brother, is in the darkness until now. The one who loves his brother is dwelling in the Light, and there is no cause of offense in him" (vs 8-10). There are the two paths:

  • the Truth of God, the Light of God, the way of Christ and God the Father
  • the way of Satan the devil: the way of lies, the way of darkness, the way of deceit

Notice how he explains it, v 11: "But the one who hates his brother is in darkness, and is walking in darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes."

Remember what Jesus said, 'the eye is the light of the body,' and if the light that is in you be darkness how great is that darkness indeed! There is a light of darkness, which comes from Satan the devil and part of the spirit of the power of the air.

That appears to people who want to live in sin as if it is light. But here, this light is defined as darkness, as sin, and not Truth.

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2-Corinthians 11—here again we see the same problems today. You would think that as many people as have heard sermons like this would be on guard so that they would not fall victim to it. Look at what's happened to them, because they're not aware of the power of Satan and they get drawn away a little bit. Then they start walking away from the Light. The further away they get the dimmer the Light is. Pretty soon they're in darkness and they think they are in the Light.

2-Corinthians 11:3, Paul says: "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds might be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For indeed, if someone comes preaching another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit, which you did not receive, or a different gospel, which you did not accept, you put up with it as something good" (vs 3-4). They were saying, 'Oh, let's hear what you have to say.' Remember, Paul's first encounter with the philosophers on Mars Hill in Athens was what? They spent their time debating! Giving opinions! Listening to thing! Evaluating what they said!

Paul came in and said, 'I see that you're very observant to deities, and I saw an inscription out there on one of your venerations saying, To the unknown God. Him I preach to you.' Here (2-Cor. 11) we find the same attitude of comparing opinions, listening to opposite things that are not of God, because it sort of tweaks the mind. This is what was happening to those in the Church in Corinth. They put up with it as something good!

  • What did Paul call them?
  • What did he say that they were?
  • What was it that they were bringing?
  • They were bringing a different gospel!

We know there's only one Gospel! Let's see what Paul says:

Verse 13: "For such are false apostles—deceitful workers who are transforming themselves into apostles of Christ." That verifies what Jesus said, 'Many would come in my name saying that I am the Christ and would deceive many.'

How do they come? Professing that they know Christ! Professing that they are bringing an improvement to the Gospel that was originally given! That's why the Christian Biblical Church of God and what we do is dedicated to restoring original Christianity for today. How do we live the way God wants us to live?

Notice who's sending them, and remember the darkness that comes from Satan appears to those who don't know any better. They come along and say, 'We're apostles of Christ,' and Paul gives the answer, v 14: "And it is no marvel… [don't think this is something strange] …for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light."

  • Is that not what he did with Adam and Eve?
  • Is that not what he's done with the religions of this world?
  • Yes, indeed!

So, he also says there are ministers of Satan the devil, v 15: "Therefore, it is no great thing if his servants also transform themselves as ministers of righteousness—whose end shall be according to their works."

Let's see what John warns against; let's see what he tells us, and let's see one of the things that Satan likes to do. He likes to get people focused on the world. He likes to get them focused on activities that take them back into the world. As far as our perspective is concerned, we are not to love this world. Only God can love the world, because He knows how to call people out of it. That's God looking down on the earth and considering His overall plan and what He's going to do.

Here is a different situation; we're already on the earth. We see these competing things coming against us, and we know that Satan is called 'the god of this world'; we know that he is 'deceiving the whole world'; we know that he himself is basically 'religious' so he brings in a 'religion' that sounds really, really good, and it's worldly.

1-John 2:15: "Do not love the world, nor the things thatare in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." Why? Because the way of the world is the way of the 'prince of the power of the air'! It is the way of Satan, who appears as an 'angel of light,' but indeed brings darkness and closes the mind.

Verse 16: "Because everything that is in the world—… [I want you to notice how this ties in closely with Eph. 2:1-3] …the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pretentious pride of physical life—is not from the Father, but is from the world." Satan is the god of this world!

1-John 5:19: "We know that we are of God…" That's the whole purpose of going through these things, brethren, so that we know we are of God! We know that we are of God because:

  • we have His Spirit
  • we keep His commandments
  • we keep His Sabbath
  • we keep His Holy Days
  • we love God with all our heart, mind, soul and being
  • we love our neighbor as ourselves
  • we love the brethren as Christ loved us
  • we even love our enemies, also

"We know we are of God… [That's how we know!] …and that the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one" (19). The whole world! That's why John wrote:

1-John 2:15: "Do not love the world…. [v 17] …And the world and its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God abides forever." That's what we need to know and understand: Do the will of God! Isn't that the first thing that we pray for after we say, 'Our Father in heaven, Holy is Your name, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.'

  • if we're doing the will of God
  • if we are loving God
  • if we are doing the things that are right
  • if we are practicing the Truth

God is with us! We are walking in the Light and we are not in the darkness.

1-John 4:5 talks about those in the world who are the false preachers. "They are of the world… [not of God! If they are of the world they are of Satan the devil; they are ministers of Satan and they appear as ministers of righteousness.] (However John[transcriber's correction] warned): …because of this, they speak of the world, and the world listens to them." That's why there is the Orthodox 'Christianity' of the world. The world listens to them.

  • we are to listen to the Word of God
  • we are to be led by the Spirit of God
  • we are to let the Word of God guide us

It is to become a very part of our being, written in our heart and mind. That's how we come out of this world.

Verse 6: "We are of God; the one who knows God listens to us; the one who is not of God does not listen to us. By this means we know the Spirit of the Truth and the spirit of the deception"—because God has given us the Light and the understanding.

Everything else we do, as we find here in chapter four, is based on the love of God. He says, 'perfect love is casting out fear.' That goes right back to where we began, because the world is

  • in the spirit of bondage
  • in the spirit of fear
  • in the spirit of Satan the devil

—the 'prince of the power of the air, that spirit that is now working in the children of disobedience'!

We're to 'walk in the Light, as He is in the Light.' We're going to see several things here concerning what we need to do. We know that there are 'wicked spirits in high places.' Let's see what we are fighting against. Let's see what the battle really is.

Ephesians 6:12: "Because we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities and against powers, against the world rulers of the darkness of this age…" Those are the ones who are directly under the control of Satan the devil, who worship him, who do his bidding, who believe that he is god!

Lots of times people want to know: How do you know that? Well, if you go back and read Matt. 4 and Luke 4, you find that Satan offered power, money, and control of the world to those who worship him. So, by the words of Christ, we can use that as a measurement: Who is worshipping the devil and getting benefits from him? Who has power and wealth and control? Those have been described as the super-elite! They're not of God!

They are the "…rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual power of wickednessin high places" (v 12). We have to fight against that in this world. We have to use:

  • the strength of God
  • the power of God
  • the Truth of God
  • the righteousness of God

to overcome! We have our choices:

  • we have to make those choices everyday
  • we have to be coming to the Light everyday
  • we have to be overcoming human nature everyday

Let's see what we are to do in fighting against this and how our behavior needs to be. Ephesians 4:17—Paul writes: "So then, I declare and testify this in the Lord that you are no longer to walk even as the rest of the Gentiles are walking, in the vanity of their minds, having their understanding darkened… [because of their sins, walking in darkness] …being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their hearts" (vs 17-18). The carnal mind, not subject to the Law of God, wanting to live in sin, yet, wanting to have a 'religion'; wanting to appear 'good' and acceptable. Gradually they get to this point:

Verse 19: "They have cast off all feelings, and have given themselves up to licentiousness, to work every uncleanness with insatiable desire. But you have not so learned Christ; if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, according to the Truth in Jesus" (vs 19-21).

  • we are to put off the old conduct
  • we're to put off the old man
  • we are to be renewed in mind

That's why all of these things come to us this way.

Here is something we also need to understand, brethren: No one in the world, of and by him or her self has the power to get out from underneath the darkness of this world! To get out from underneath the power of Satan the devil! Only God can do that! Let's see that it is the Father who has done that!

That's why we have all of these things in the New Testament showing right and wrong, good and evil, spiritually! That's why Christ said, 'I am the Light of the world.' He alone can bring the Light and the Truth. We cannot be going back into this world. We cannot be going back to thinking like the world and doing the way of the world and expect to receive the blessings of God. God is doing something in us that is completely the opposite of what is happening in the world. He is creating in us

  • His character
  • His mind
  • His love
  • His Truth

—within us! But He had to reach down and rescue us from the power of darkness and the evil wickedness of Satan the devil.

Colossians 1:9: "For this cause we also, from the day that we heard of it, do not cease to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding." That's another way of saying to grow in grace and knowledge.

  • That's why we study
  • That's why we pray
  • That's why we keep the Holy Days
  • That's why we live God's way

In it, as we're doing it, He is

  • working with us
  • molding us
  • giving us of His character
  • giving us of His love

He had to originally rescue us from the power of darkness!

Verse 10: "That you may walk worthily of the Lord, unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified for the share of the inheritance of the saints in the Light" (vs 10-12). That inheritance includes everything that Christ has made. We are joint-heirs with Him!

  • I want you to see the contrast
  • I want you to see the difference
  • I want you to understand the Truth

Verse 13: "Who [the Father] has personally rescued us from the power of darkness…" God the Father has saved us, rescued us from Satan the devil, and He's done it through Jesus Christ. You talk about being under grace. You talk about receiving grace. That is truly it—isn't it? Yes, indeed! From God the Father to you, to me, to all the brethren:

"…has personally rescued us from the power of darkness and has transferred us unto the Kingdom of the Son of His love" (v 13). There we have it! That's really something what God has done, what He is doing, how He is doing it.

Let's see some other things now that we need to understand with it. Let's see some of the Psalms. We can take some of these Psalms and use them as parts of our prayers so that we can draw closer to God.

Psalms 27:1—notice how David starts out: "The LORD is my Light… [Jesus said, 'I am the Light of the world] …and my salvation; whom shall I fear?…." We're not to have fear! We know what the world is like. We know it's deceived! We know these things are going on, but we also know that God has called us to take over the world. That's the whole meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles, as we will see, to bring the Gospel of Grace, the Kingdom of God, the righteousness of Truth, and the Light of God to the whole world! It has to start with us! With that then we can grow, change and overcome—God's way is perfect!

Notice what David desired; he didn't have to be afraid of the enemy, v 2: "When the wicked, my enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell." God will fight for you! What did Moses tell the children of Israel when they were trapped at the Red Sea? Stand still and see the salvation of God!

Verse 3: "Though an army should encamp against me, my heart shall not be afraid; though war should rise against me, even then I will be confident." Why? Because he had this one thing in mind! The goal! The purpose of life! The purpose of God's calling!

Verse 4: "One thing I have desired from the LORD, that I will seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in His temple." That's what David always had in mind. That's what we need to do, too! We are to walk in the ways of God; do the things that God wants us to do. Then we can overcome Satan the devil and the world, and we don't have to worry about it.

Psalm 119—here's a tremendous Psalm that gives you all kinds of understanding. Let's see how all of this combines:

  • the Word of God
  • the Truth of God
  • Jesus Christ Who is called the Word of God
  • the Holy Spirit that gives us light

Psalm 119:105—concerning the Word of God: "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep Your righteous ordinances" (vs 105-106).

Notice what the Word of God does. The Word of God is meant to enlighten. The Word of God is to bring us Truth. Put this all together, Jesus said, 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. I am the Light of the world.

Verse 130: "The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple." Then it gives us direction on how we are to learn, how we are to grow, how we are to change.

Now let's look at some Proverbs and see what God wants to give us in the way of understanding and Truth. Brethren,

  • the more you study the Word of God
  • the more we understand the Word of God
  • the more that we follow the way of God
  • the more that we yield to the Spirit of God
  • the more that we have light
  • the more that we have understanding
  • the more that we can overcome the world and Satan the devil
  • the more that we can see the difference between Truth and error, right and wrong, what is authentic and what is a deception

Proverbs 6:23: "For the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light, and reproofs of instruction are the way of life." Of course, all of God's Word is instruction and reproof, so that we can walk in the way of God.

That's why we need our minds enlightened, and God enlightens us with His Truth, with His love, with His Spirit! Remember where we started: Is the light that is in you Light? or Is it darkness? If it is darkness, 'how great is that darkness?

Proverbs 13:9: "The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out." Quite interesting things for us to know and understanding—isn't it, brethren?
On this Sabbath before Atonement what I'm trying to do is help get us prepared for the Day of Atonement and the meaning of the Day of Atonement so that we know God is going to put away all sin, put away Satan the devil, all unrighteousness and He—through us—is going to establish the world in righteousness under Jesus Christ.

Let's look at a promise of Jesus Christ. Let's come to John 8 where Jesus says that He is the Light of the world. This is really something how he brings it out. John 8:12: "Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, 'I am the Light of the world; the one who follows Me…'" If you're going to follow Him, we're going to see one of the things that God wants us to do is to imitate Him. If there is no sin in Him, if He is the Lawgiver—which He is—how are we then to have our relationship with God? By keeping everything in Spirit and in Truth!

Here is a promise: "'…the one who follows Me shall never walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life'" (v 12)—and will understand the Truth! And 'the Truth will make you free.' The Truth will keep you from the spirit of deception. The righteousness of God will keep you from the world. Put all of these things together.

Again, he reiterates that He is the Light of the world, John 12:35: "Then Jesus said to them, 'Yet a little while the Light is with you…. [He knew what was going to happen in the next few days. This was the Sabbath before the crucifixion.] …Walk while you have the Light, so that the darkness will not overtake you….'" Just like where we started. He is the Light and you are coming to the Light. You are confirming that the Word of God is true. You keep coming to the Light. This leads you to where God wants you to be.

"'…For the one who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become the children of Light.'…." (vs 35-36). That's what we are, brethren. That's how we are to live our lives.

  • God is Light
  • we're coming to the Light
  • His Word is Truth
  • His word is Light
  • the commandments are a lamp unto our feet

Let's see how we are to live our lives now, Eph. 5. This something, brethren! This is quite a tremendous part of our overcoming, changing, growing, and how we can keep out of the world and keep in the Truth of God; how we can stay out of the darkness and stay in the Light of God.

Ephesians 5:1—this is really a tremendous verse: "Therefore, be imitators of God… [Let those words sink in! What does that mean? That shows how we are to live our lives!] …as beloved children; and walk in love, even as Christ also loved us, and gave Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor" (vs 1-2).

Now then, of all the things that are in the world. I tell you what, this world is obsessed with sex! That's one of the first tricks of Satan the devil—isn't it? Yes, indeed! To get you involved.

Verse 3: "But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, do not permit it even to be named among you, as is fitting for saints." No! We're not to be partakers of any of those things.

Verse 5: "For this you know, that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God. Do not let anyone deceive you with vain words… [those are the prophets who come saying they're 'ministers of righteousness' but they're not] …for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, do not be joint partakers with them. For you were once darkness…" (vs 5-8). But we've been called out of darkness into His glorious Light.

"…but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light" (v 8). That's how we are to walk.

In preparation for the Day of Atonement, let's understand the Light and Truth of God frees us from all of the schemes of Satan the devil. God the Father Himself has delivered us from the power of darkness. The Gospel has been given to take us away from the power of Satan the devil, and bring us to God so that we're

  • changed
  • converted
  • no longer live in the world that we did
  • now we love God more than anything else

That's why we're not to love the world or the things in the world. This is how we know the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of deception.

Let's not forget any of the schemes of Satan the devil, but keep focused in on what it says here: Walk as children of Light!

Scriptural References:

  • Isaiah 60:2
  • Jeremiah 13:15-17
  • Ephesians 2:1-3
  • 1 Corinthians 2:9-14
  • Romans 8:14-15
  • Matthew 6:22-23
  • John 3:19
  • John 1:4-5
  • John 3:19-21
  • Matthew 13:11, 13-15
  • Acts 26:14-18
  • 1 John 1:3-10
  • 1 John 2:1-6, 8-11
  • 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 13-15
  • 1 John 2:15-16
  • 1 John 5:19
  • 1 John 2:15, 17
  • 1 John 4:5-6
  • Ephesians 6:12
  • Ephesians 4:17-21
  • Colossians 1:9-13
  • Psalm 27:1-4
  • Psalm 119:105-106, 130
  • Proverbs 6:23
  • Proverbs 13:9
  • John 8:12
  • John 12:35-36
  • Ephesians 5:1-2, 5-8

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 12:9
  • Romans 8:7
  • John 3:16
  • Isaiah 59
  • Matthew 4
  • Luke 4

Also referenced: Sermon Series:
Epistles of 1st, 2nd 3rd John