[SW307] 12/08/2017 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017
Out of the Darkness
In the midst of great, absolute darkness, Isaiah prophesied that people who were nothing would become something, when they saw a great Light that was coming.
It was not a light they could produce or conjure up. But the Light they would see would be Jesus Christ, the Light of the world!
Text: Isaiah 9:1-2
But there will be no more gloom, no distress, no absolute darkness. Something was coming!
For her who was in anguish, in extreme distress, Zebulun and Naphtali of Israel’s northern kingdom, who He treated with contempt (affliction).
Why did He afflict them?
Because they worshiped golden calves, and the false god Baal, and offered their children as sacrifices to the false god, Molech. As their children burned alive, they beat drums loudly, so their children’s screams could not be heard.
They were the people of God, but they were in absolute, deep darkness!
How did the Lord afflict idolatrous Zebulun and Naphtali?
He made them the first of Northern Israel’s kingdom to go in to exile, when the Assyrians overran them in B.C. 734 —
2Kings 15:29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria came and captured Ijon and Abel-beth-maacah and Janoah and Kedesh and Hazor and Gilead and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; and he carried them captive to Assyria.
Zebulun, just east of Galilee, was also taken at that time.
But the word of the Lord through Isaiah says there will be no more gloom, no more distress for those who were in absolute darkness.
Why will there be no more distress for God’s exiled people who were in absolute darkness and in misery?
Later on, a Light is coming!
That Light is Christ! He sheds His light for all to see, shining on every man —
John 1:9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
Oh, here is the Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ! No matter what absolute darkness you are presently living in, His Light is here, now!
He shall make glorious those who have been in darkness.
What does “make glorious” mean?
This word “glorious” is from the word kabod — God’s glory! Jesus Christ will be born in Bethlehem, but will grow up and begin His ministry in Galilee of the Gentiles, the place Assyria seeded with non-Jews, as was their custom when they took a nation into exile.
So, being the first to see His light will be an honor for them. And His twelve disciples were from Galilee of the Gentiles, and they were made glorious!
When will the people be made glorious?
In Acts 2, at Pentecost! The Lord will fill many who live in Galilee of the Gentiles with His glory, when the people of Galilee have their own personal Pentecost!
How will all of this come to pass?
Verse 2 — His idolatrous people who dwell in absolute darkness and misery and the shadow of death — so close to death that it casts a shadow upon them — will see something.
What will they see?
A great — a never-before-seen — Light!
God’s people and the Gentiles of Galilee will see Jesus Christ, the Light of the world!
This light will shine on those who live in absolute darkness, in misery, in destruction, in death’s shadow, in ignorance, in sorrow, in wickedness!
Jesus Christ’s light shined on them when He walked the earth, and they either turned away, or came into His light, —
John 3:19 (Jesus said) “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.”
But many have run toward Him! I was in absolute darkness, in misery, in destruction, in death, in ignorance, in sorrow, in wickedness, and He shined on even me! And I ran toward Him, glory to God, eighteen years ago! Then, sixteen years ago, I stayed and waited, so His light would be in me.
Have you stayed and waited so His light is in you?
Do you see that the source of His light is the Holy Spirit, the Father, and the Son, who come to permanently dwell in you when you ask your Father in heaven to fill you with His Spirit?
Then those in absolute darkness — even God’s people —see!
And do you see that today, the whole world is in extreme distress, absolute darkness, in gloom, because just like Zebulun and Naphtali and all of the kingdom of Northern Israel? Do you see it is because they worship false gods with which Satan has tempted them, playing on their sensuality and greed?
Today, there are those who worship a god who tells them to offer their children as prostitutes to be used their temples, as part of worship. And there are those who worship a god who tells them they will have many virgins in heaven, if they become suicide bombers.
Where is the church, in the midst of today’s darkness?
In America and across the earth, the church has become a place for you to “get your blessing?” The church is no longer a place where people come into Christ’s light and are saved, and then seek to be filled with His light and His glory so they are lights in the absolute darkness.
Within the past year, the Lord spoke to me when I was in the prayer room of a particular church. He said, “I will bring My light into this place, and the people will say, ‘What is this light? We have not seen it!’ And they will fall down and worship Me.”
Jesus asks this of His church — when He comes again, will He find faith in the earth (Luke 18:8)?
He wants all who were nothing to become something — to become His — when they see His Light!
O church, O believer, if there is no Light in you, those in absolute darkness will come and eat the food and wear the clothes and stay in the shelters your church provides. But they will remain in absolute darkness, in misery of soul, in destruction, in death, in ignorance, in sorrow, in wickedness, for they see no light in you, and therefore, remain without God in the world!
Oh, Church! Many churches teach that being filled with Christ’s light is not “for today,” but ended after all of the Apostles had been martyred or, like the Apostle John, died of old age.
Paul warned Timothy that fierce times were coming, where many would have a form of godliness (holiness as an outward attitude), but disavow, reject, and abnegate its power to transform a human heart and fill that heart with His Light, the very glory of God (2Timothy 3:5).
And so, much of Christianity today is just another religion. It is just one of many systems of beliefs.
There is no light of Christ in much of the church, in those whom He has called to be filled with His light so they are lights of the world —
Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works [that is, works that only God can do and which He does through you], and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
Jesus is preparing for Himself a church glorious, filled with His kabod —
Ephesians 5:27 . . . that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
“In all her glory,” is really “glorious,” that is, filled with His glory! Then she is able to shine with His Light!
Oh, beloved, only then will nations come to our Light, and kings to the radiance of our shining (Isaiah 60:3), for they will see that it comes not from us, but from the One who has filled us and will deliver them!
I believe that today’s church rejects the truth because is concerned that the world may reject her or think her to be intolerant.
I tell you the truth, some in the world surely will reject His light in you, just as He promised, but kings! Nations! There will be and have been many who run toward the Light of Jesus Christ that shines out from His servants!
In this season of lights and earthly joys, O church, I call you to repent from your unbelief. If you run to His Light, He will gladly receive you back, just as He did Zebulun and Naphtali!
I pray individual believers will see His light through this message, come out of their darkness, and seek to be filled with the Light of Jesus Christ. Amen!