YE WERE SOMETIMES DARKNESS
Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are y e light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
Please take careful note that this verse does not say, “Ye were sometimes IN darkness.” But it actually states that we were once darkness itself! For if you can admit that the second phrase of this verse affirms that you, as a believer, are now light in the Lord, you have to also admit the first phrase is true as well. For were once darkness!
Also in that eleventh verse the unfruitful works of darkness are referred to as “them.” For those who are with inner darkness shall be cast into “outer darkness.” Therefore if we accept that these are still darkness, we must also accept that we were once associated with them as darkness ourselves. Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation (‘manner of life’) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
The acceptance of this now gives to us a clearer understanding of the first verses of the scriptures. For in that first chapter of the Book of Genesis we read the earth’s being without form, and being void is coupled together with there being “darkness on the face of the deep.” And since man has a close relation to the earth, being formed from it, we must seek to understand more of this connection.
The earth was not only to be the place from whence man was derived, but also the place wherein he was to reside. Therefore when we see that man was darkness, we also are shown that the earth was void. But this is not unique just to this Genesis passage, for we are also shown this in the Prophet Jeremiah’s writings. Jeremiah 4:22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. 23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.
For as long as God’s elect people were darkness; as long as “my people are foolish, and have not known me,” this was to be reflected in their close association of the earth also being without form and void. The new heavens and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, would not be brought into being until these, as darkness was past and they were “now are light in the Lord.” The Apostle Peter clearly tells us that a pure earth was to be associated with a righteous population. 2 Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
And the Apostle Paul informs us that the act of God’s creating the earth was of the same work and power as his creation of a redeemed soul! For the salvation of the soul is also a creation of God! 2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
And the Apostle John informs us that these new heavens and earth “came down from God,” which occurred at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit made application of the redemption that the Lord Jesus had purchased with his own blood. Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Remember that God dwells within the believers as his temple. Yet he will not dwell in them while they are still darkness. Therefore he brings them to be light in the Lord so that he may properly dwell in them. And the instant of his coming to dwell in them is the instant of their becoming light in the Lord. God looks upon the light and proclaims it to be good. And that was the instant of our being accepted in the beloved. For Jesus Christ is both the light of the world and the light of life! John 8:12 ¶ Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. Ephesians 1:3 ¶ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Then we can come to fulfill our privilege of actually becoming the temple of God. 1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. 2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 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.
As poor religionist’s we could only see the temple of God as a brick and timber building into which religionists enter to hold their religious meetings. But that is but carnal religious thought. Consider these verses wherein the disciples were shown the spiritual truth concerning God’s temple. John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
Now reread this verse and think of the spiritual meaning. Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. It’s not speaking of Jesus hurrying up to the temple in Jerusalem. It speaks of the Incarnation of the eternally existing Son of God coming quickly into his manhood within the womb of Mary! Wow! Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
I’m sure that these matters may seem strange and foreign to even the most dedicated religious mind. But remember that which God informs us of his thoughts. Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
After his visit into the third heavens, the ‘normal’ concepts of heavenly perceptions could not be related to the Apostle Paul’s hearers. 2 Corinthians 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
Remember that attaining religious knowledge causes fleshly pride. 1 Corinthians 8:1 Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. Therefore let us be humble in the wealth of knowledge the Holy Spirit his given us just in our journey thus far out of the halls of religious darkness. And let us not imagine ourselves to have attained established ascendancy merely because we compare ourselves to those from whom we once were associated with. But let us look to the Lord of glory and know that we have far too much to learn to settle down here as if we had already attained perfection.
Philippians 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
There are those who are said to be “Ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
May God have mercy!
Pastor Gene Breed