Light Becoming Darkness
December 28, 2023 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

Jesus said,

The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matthew 6:22, 23).

The eye (lamp) is not the light itself—not photons, not the truth—but it is the medium through which the light (truth) shines. In the metaphor, Jesus is telling us that if something is wrong with the faculties that are designed to recognize, understand, process, and receive the truth, then rather than being enlightened, one will not only remain in the dark, but also the previous understanding (light) they had will prevent them from seeing new light.

God is an infinite being who lives in unapproachable light—truth, love, power, and ability (1 Timothy 6:16). Created beings are finite; we never become God and cannot enter into infinity. This means that there is always more truth for created beings to learn, new insights to comprehend, and more epiphanies to experience. Throughout all eternity future, the righteous will live lives of never-ending new discoveries, new insights, new light, new truth, growing constantly because they love the truth and long to advance in it as soon as their finite abilities can assimilate the next portion of God’s infinite truth.

The wicked, the lost, have a different attitude toward truth. Paul said that the wicked “perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:10 NIV84). The lost love their beliefs, their dogmas, their rituals, their religion, or their rejection of religion, but they do not love the truth. When new truth (light) presents, they resist it, are threatened by it, and often label it heresy. And by rejecting the new unfolding light (truth), the previous genuine heavenly light becomes darkness to them, which prevents them from growing in truth until they accept the new light they are actively rejecting.

So how exactly does heavenly light become darkness to people?

In 5 CE, when Jesus was just a toddler, it was heavenly truth (light) that the Messiah who was promised to Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:15) and who would descend through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was soon to be revealed to the world and start His earthly ministry. But since 33 CE, after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, is it still heavenly light—truth—that the Messiah is going to be born in Israel, that the Messiah is yet to come, or has that truth become darkness to those who reject the advancing light that Jesus is our Messiah? If someone today rejects Jesus as Messiah and clings to the Old Testament prophecies about a Messiah who is yet to be born to us, are they in the light or are they in darkness?

Because the eyes (minds) of those who rejected Jesus were biased, prejudiced, selfish, and preferred the lies to the truth, the light was rejected and did not “enlighten” those who crucified Jesus Likewise today, all who reject advancing truth will find that previous truth has, in fact, become darkness (falsehood) to them. And until they accept the truth they are currently resisting they will remain in the falsehood of presenting a truth from the past which is not truth for today.

This has happened throughout human history when people discover a truth appropriate for their time in history but do not advance in the unfolding truth.

One example of this in the Adventist Church is how the message of the three angels of Revelation 14 was initially presented as the heavenly light shown down upon Adventist reformers, but as the truth was advancing, many in leadership rejected the advancing light at the 1888 General Conference in Minneapolis and, thus, the truth has become darkness to them.

In our magazine The Final Message of Mercy to the World: The Three Angels, we describe in detail what we understand to be the unfolding truth of these messages. The truth that was rejected by leadership in 1888 was the truth about God’s law being design law—the protocols upon which the Creator built reality to operate, and that the Ten Commandment law was not always in existence but was added by God as a gracious therapeutic tool specifically designed for human sinners.

But if one rejects the advancing light, if one understands God’s law to be imposed rules, the kind of laws that sinful humans make up, then one not only ends up worshiping a creature instead of the Creator, but they also interpret Scripture, including the three angels, via human legal systems—heavenly courtrooms, legal records, legal judgments, legal payments, inflicted punishments, etc.

However, when we return to worshiping the Creator and understand His laws are design laws, then one reads the three angels as they are supposed to be read—God’s final warning to the world of how reality works and what happens to those who reject Him and His design laws for life.

The high points of the messages are:

  • The central thread of the messages is about worship.
  • The first angel focuses on the eternal good news, which is the good news about God that is true in eternity past as well as eternity future—that God is not like Satan has alleged Him to be. He is the God who creates reality, whose laws are design laws, the protocols life exists and operates upon. We are called back to worship Him as Creator, and we are to stop worshiping a creature in the place of the Creator, and, thereby, give glory to God, for the hour in human history has come for people to make a right judgment about God—the hour of His judgment has come!
  • When we recognize the truth about God, we realize the system of imposed law with a punishing god is the fallen system of Babylon, the system of confusion that has resulted in the more than 41,000 different Christian groups arguing over whose doctrines are right, whose creeds are correct, whose fundamental beliefs are accurate. We are called to come out of that worldly way of thinking and functioning and return to worshiping our Creator by living in harmony with His designs for life (i.e., have His living law written upon our hearts and minds—Hebrews 8:10).
  • But if we don’t do that, if we instead reject the light and cling to the imposed-law lies, then, via the law of worship (by beholding we are changed; 2 Corinthians 3:18), we become like the false creature-god we worship and are marked in our characters (foreheads) and works (hands) to be like the beastly god we worship and 

  • Via the law of liberty, God sets us free to reap that which we have sown into our hearts, minds, and souls. After long, patient, gracious, merciful interventions by God, when people ultimately reject His truth and love, God gives them freedom and lets them go to reap the results of their own choices (Galatians 6:8). He stops using His power to protect them from what sin does, and this is known as God’s wrath (Romans 1:18, 24, 26, 28). When God no longer shields people from the devastation of breaking His design laws, then they reap the suffering that unremedied sin brings.
  • And via the law of love and truth, when the wicked stand in God’s life-giving glory, the eternal fires of infinite truth and love that flow out from Him like a river of flames (Daniel 7:10; Hebrews 12:29), the unsaved come into full awareness of their own selfishness, guilt, shame, and evil and they can no longer hide from the reality of who they have chosen to become.

This is the God of reality restoring all things back into harmony with how He constructed life to exist and operate, back into harmony with Himself and His design laws for life. It occurs when God stops using power to shield sinners from the unavoidable results of what sin does to them. It does not occur as a result of God using power to inflict pain, suffering, and death—that is how evil, sinful human governments work. God is waiting for His true friends to stand up and accept the advancing light and say of Him what is right so that people, at this time in human history, can have a real choice, see clearly the difference between the Creator God and the evil dictator, the punishing legalistic creature god, that has supplanted Him in the minds of billions—and then choose to reject the liar and return to worshiping our one and only true God and Savior Jesus Christ.

As we are about to embark on a new year, I encourage you to start it with a new resolve to grow in the truth. I invite you to be a lover of truth, study for yourself, and pray, asking God to give you a heart and mind that loves truth and is eager to grow and advance in the unfolding heavenly light as soon as you are capable of understanding it, to expose any beliefs you have that are currently obstacles to the truth, and to become yourself a source of heavenly light in this dark and sinful world.

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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and an international speaker. He served as president of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain.
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