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Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
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1, Study 23
‘He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart.’
We shall be using Strong’s number system in defining certain words, so read slowly and dwell upon the meanings of these certain words. Throughout this study there are different Greek words that are translated in the KJV as ‘light’ and we must delve into those meetings. However, so as not to become overly burdensome in my writing I will put the definitions of the Greek words in  within each verse.
John 12:35) Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light [i.e. that which illuminates objects] with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness [i.e. dimness, obscurity] come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
There were four types of people listening to Jesus on this occasion: 1) those that ‘believed not’ and 2) those that ‘believed’. Of 1) there were two types, a) those that did not care about Jesus or his words, and b) those who cared enough to oppose Jesus. Of 2) there were two types, a) those that believed in Jesus but did not place him and his Father first in their lives, and b) those who did place him and the Father first in their lives.
Jesus referred to the multitude and to his soon departure; yet, he also referred to anytime the light of God's kingdom shines upon a person…because one cannot walk (pleasingly before God, Hebrews 11:6) in spiritual ‘dimness or obscurity’.
When Jesus spoke, the light (i.e. ‘the illuminating presence from heaven’) was present with the people. The light of God's kingdom can arrive in varied forms (Jesus in his physical being is one such form). Soon darkness (i.e. absence of heavenly light) would be upon them again. This is why they needed to ‘walk’ to Jesus while they had with them the light of Jesus.
All those listening to Jesus, including his disciples, thought they knew where they were going. The disciples would soon find out that they would experience days that seemed very dark…without the light of God's kingdom shining upon them, or in them.
Those that believed…yet did not put the Father and the Son first in their lives…also thought they knew where they were going; they thought their ‘dimness’ was ‘light’.
12:36) While ye have light, believe [i.e. faith’s action] in the light, that ye may be the children of light [i.e. the kind of light by which God illuminates spiritual objects]. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
The disciples had the ‘light’ in the person of Jesus until he was gone from them. The believers who did not put him first me in their lives also had the ‘light’, but only as they stood there with Jesus. The others, even with Jesus there, were watching him and listening to him…yet in spiritual ‘darkness’.
The two types in 2) were ‘children of light’ already. However, a ‘child of light’ is only in the light of God's kingdom when God from heaven (spiritually) shines His light upon him. It was being worked from heaven as Jesus spoke to the people.
When Jesus hid himself from them, all experienced the lack of the light of God's kingdom. More shall be said later about this light (the kind of light by which God illuminates spiritual objects).
12:37,38) But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him [i.e. lack of faith’s action]: That the saying of Esaias [i.e. Isaiah] the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
To Isaiah the arm of the Lord had been revealed, and he often wondered about the individuals who had heard his ‘light-words’. He knew that some believed and some did not believe ‘the report’ which he had given to God's people. The Apostle John quoted Isaiah in this instance because John also wondered about his own report of Jesus…for to him also had ‘the arm of the Lord been revealed’ in Jesus Christ.
12:39-41) Therefore they could not believe [i.e. no faith action], because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted [i.e. turned about], and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
Jesus spoke (reported) of the Father and the kingdom of God, not about himself. The apostles spoke (reported) of God's glory in Jesus Christ and also of the glory that the Father had given them. Just as Jesus experienced blind eyes and hardened hearts when he reported about his Father and so did the apostles when they reported about Jesus. Thus, when the Apostle John reported this incident with Jesus, he quoted Isaiah to express his opinion about the majority of the people that had been listening to Jesus’ words.
Always when this ‘light’ from heaven shines upon the people there will be some who allow the light inside and some who will not (i.e. cannot…without the faith of heaven operating in them).
12:42,43) Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him [during the days of Jesus]; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him [openly], lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
Here, then, is the dilemma of all those through the ages that can be categorized by 2): In that, God has always been personal to those who choose Him first above all else; such a person has, at times, experienced the personal private ‘praise of God’. Throughout the history of Israel it was so and throughout the history of the church it was so and still is so. Yet, there have always been many ‘children of light’ who seldom experience the light because they ‘love the praise of men more than the praise of God’.
12:44) [At another time not long after Jesus had hid himself] Jesus cried [out to a listening multitude] and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
Jesus makes it clear that he himself is not the light, but rather the Father in heaven is the light, and by the Father’s Will the light shines forth by means of His Son.
The Greek word for ‘see’ means to experience what the eye sees. To ‘see spiritually’ is to experience what the spiritual eye sees. Our word ‘discern’ carries this meaning; however, Christians often think they discern whenever they have mental understanding of a doctrine of truth. The actual meaning of ‘discern’ is to experience the truth in a life-changing manner.
12:47) And [moreover] if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save [i.e. deliver, protect, preserve, make whole] the world.
Yes, God judges the world and nations of the world and peoples of the world and individuals in the world. Even so, judgment is not within the job description of Jesus Christ until such time that he comes as judge. Therefore, every child of God who judges men…much less judges the brethren…is adventuring upon very shaky and dangerous ground, for such judgment is reserved entirely for God the Father.
Now let us consider more scripture regarding the ‘light’ of God’s kingdom; and we will see differing meanings of the various Greek words that are translated ‘light’ in the KJV. Please pay attention to the meanings and the significance of each meaning within each verse.
Luke 11:34) The light [i.e. a lamp or an illuminator] of the body is the eye:…
This refers to a lamp that has a candle(s) on a carrying vessel with a reflector so that the illumination, or light rays, emitted from the light source are concentrated much more than would be the case with the light source alone. In other words, like a modern flashlight.
…therefore when thine eye is single [i.e. intertwined, braided, or folded upon itself so as to concentrate light’s effectiveness],…
The word ‘single’ describes the concentrating affect upon rays of light, which such a lamp’s reflector has upon light from a candle’s flame. Therefore, Jesus teaches that the spiritual eye of a person is such a concentrating lamp-vessel with its reflector (i.e. the vessel being the object that holds the light source, a candle).
That is, the spiritual eye of a person has the means of accepting incoming illuminating rays of God's light so as to concentrate them, reflecting them into the rest of the body. A better picture of it is that the eye is like a lens-and-reflector of a flashlight; the light source is the flashlight’s bulb connected to the batteries. And we will see that the lens-and-reflector has the ability to change focus.
…thy whole body also is full of light [i.e. well illuminated];…
When the eye is ‘single’ (concentrating all of God’s rays of light coming in during any particular space of time) then the whole body is well illuminated.
Please note the reason for rays of God’s light; it is to illuminate the objects upon which the light strikes. Only in this manner can the things in a Christian become known. God’s light illumines a sorry mess inside; yet, at the same time the light’s wondrous warmth reminds the Christian that he or she is nevertheless a child of Almighty God. Such penetrating, revealing, and warming light breaks down the child of God.
Most of the time, however, the inward parts are darkened to the Christian; thus, he or she is not often reminded of the sorry flesh. This is mercifully good in that we cannot continually bear the glaring light of God. Therefore, once we have had a good look inside (due to God’s glaring light) we must continually be reminded by the scriptures of the internal mess that we are. Here, then, is true ‘fear of God’, which is “true humility”.
The more “spiritual” is a Christian the more often he or she needs inwardly to receive God’s glaring light, for in such “spirituality” exists the innate ability to forget that ‘our righteousness is as filthy rags’.
…but when thine eye is evil [i.e. hurtful or ill-intentioned], thy body also is full of darkness [i.e. opaqueness, impervious to light].
The eye, then, can be ‘evil’ (i.e. intending no good purpose) unto oneself. In such a condition of the eye, ‘darkened’ is the body (i.e. lack of God’s illuminating effect in us). This is because the eye has become ‘opaque’ and, in its condition, it cannot pass God’s rays of light into the body. Please remember that Jesus was speaking of the wondrous light of God's kingdom. Therefore, whenever kingdom-light arrives from heaven, and a person’s eye is not in the ‘lamp’ mode (i.e. opaque) so as to pass on and concentrate the heavenly light, then the person internally lacks heavenly illumination of the inward parts, but also misses what the Lord might at the moment want him or her to ‘see’.
Take heed therefore that the light [i.e. the light’s rays]
which is in thee be not darkness [i.e.
opaqueness…impervious…lack of light rays from heaven].
11:36) If thy whole body therefore be full of light [i.e. well illuminated], having no part dark [i.e. opaque, impervious…no light], the whole shall be full of light [i.e. well illuminated], as when the bright shining [i.e. lightning, as in “causing a bright glare”] of a candle [i.e. meaning an illuminator] doth give thee light [i.e. to emit light rays].
Should a time arrive that a Christian's body is (momentarily or at length) fully illuminated, then that fullness of heavenly illumination provides the possibility for the reemitting of light rays outwardly. In other words, a full-of-light body can itself become a type of lamp. Any light rays that can be reemitted outwardly are not of the lamp itself, but rather have originated from heaven.
We see such an occurrence in Acts 6 and 7 with Stephen (see also Volume 1, Study 1). We are amazed at what was obviously going on inside Stephen and how strong was the ‘light’ so that he could ‘see’ into heaven. Yet, often we miss the effect of God’s light upon all the people standing there: some stoning him, some witnessing the stoning like Saul, and some believing Stephen and believing God…yet scared nigh to death to say or do anything to help Stephen.
Then in Acts 10:34-48 we see such an occurrence with Peter in the home of Cornelius when Cornelius and his people saw the light, saw by means of the light, and received the light…whereupon Peter and the people that had come with him saw the light and by the light saw all that God was doing to the Gentiles. That is, each person present not only saw the light, each person experienced the light in a life-changing manner.
The entire Bible has multitudes of such occurrences, and these illustrate the words of Jesus as he explains about the ‘light’ that can come from the kingdom of God in heaven whenever the Father chooses to send down His ‘light’.
Christians find the Lord in salvation through such an occurrence.
However, many other Christians experience such an occurrence after
having joined the family of God. It is God Himself who is the author
of such occurrences, as He sees fit to do. There is no
human-defined-standard of such occurrences of God's light. The
individual’s part is to manifest his or her desire for God to aid
in focusing the eye so as to aid in gathering in His light whenever
it arrives…which might or might not be often…as He chooses to do.
May the Lord grant some of His Light in the study of these passages. Amen.
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