Wednesday, August 31, 2016

One more reason to avoid Lysa TerKeurst of Elevation Church

Lysa TerKeurst is a ladies Bible study teacher. She has written several best-selling books and is founder of Proverbs 31 ministries. She is attractive, engaging, seems to have a good handle on the Bible, and is very popular with women. Sadly, however, there are numerous issues with the kind of Christianity Mrs TerKeurst promotes. (Her name is pronounced ter--rhymes with sir; keurst--rhymes with burst).

People have written about the concerning issues with Mrs TerKeurst before. Michelle Lesley did a great job on why we should be leaving Lysa, and Aimee Byrd negatively reviewed Mrs TerKeurst's 17th and most famous book, here.

I'd like to add another of the credible discernment concerns with Mrs TerKeurst. Seth Dunn recently spoke of Mrs TerKeurst in his podcast The Christian Commute. I was impressed with how he stated one of the concerns with Mrs TerKeurst and why she should not be followed. I'll transcribe it below. His podcast discussing Mrs TerKeurst is within the broadcast called, Driving Miss Beth to the Bus Stop. In it, Seth addresses how hard is to review women's Bible studies when the "meat" of them are on video. He uses Mrs TerKeurst as one of the examples. Here's Seth Dunn-

Ladies Bible Studies are a mess. Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore, LifeWay Industry ... they are often shallow, trite or downright hermeutically bad. I think one of the responsibilities as a man, as a husband, as a spiritual leader of my household is to make sure that my wife is being fed in Bible study, good food that doesn’t come from wolves.
Lysa TerKeurst is a member of Elevation Church, that’s Steven Furtick’s church. No matter what Lysa TerKeurst says in her Bible studies, she’s known as the Proverbs 31 woman, I’m sure you’ve seen her little sayings. Sometimes we automatically have guilt by association. It’s not so much guilt by association, it’s guilt by subjugation. She is under the authority of her pastor. Her being at Elevation Church implicitly communicates that she agrees with what goes on there and that she agrees with the teachings of Steven Furtick.
Source Lutheran Layman

Furtick is a narcigete who reads himself into scripture, who uses preacher chords, who has spontaneous baptisms. If you’re not aware of this, at Elevation Church they have young vibrant people get up during invitation time to act like they’re going to respond to the invitation, in order to encourage other people to emotionally respond to the invitation, so they’ll get baptized. That’s how they have such high baptism numbers. They manipulate people. At Elevation Church they have a coloring book they give to the kids, with a picture of Steven Furtick that says, "We are united under the vision that God gave Pastor Steven." …So we know that Lysa TerKeurst is under this bad mojo Elevation Church. So we should already be suspicious of her. 
Why do I bring her up? My wife came home with a Lysa TerKeurst Bible study. It’s called Twelve Women of the Bible, co-authored by Lysa TerKeurst, and my wife said she was given it from one of the ladies at another local church. It’s a Southern Baptist Church, I’ve listened to the preaching there, it’s solid. If you go onto their website and look at their statement of beliefs, it’s solid. You can be lulled into a false sense of security there. You can think ‘surely this solid Southern Baptist Church, with a solid expository preacher, who has a doctorate from a fine seminary, they wouldn’t have bad ladies' teaching there, or any kind of bad bible studies.’ But they do. They’re passing out a Lysa TerKeurst book.
Associations matter. In the secular world, when we apply for a tenure-track professorial position at a College or University, we don't hide the college from which we earned our degree. We don't hide that, because it's important for the hiring committee to know under whom you sat and under whom you learned the stuff that you will in turn be spouting to the students who will be sitting under you.

If a Bible teacher or preacher has been raised in an environment of false teachings, such as Anne Graham Lott, Tullian Tchividijian, and Franklin Graham have been raised by Billy Graham and have been influenced by his ecumenical-universalist notions, then it is a cause for concern that in their formative years they absorbed such doctrines and are more apt to promote them as they grow up and engage in ministry themselves. Another negative association might not be within a family but partnering as adults with other false teachers, such as Beth Moore with the prosperity gospel Osteens, with heretic Joyce Meyer, and with New Age Catholic Roma Downey. And so, TerKeurst sitting under Furtick is cause for severe concern. How can you learn discernment from a Bible teacher who does not possess it herself?

The second lesson here is that if you're looking for a church and you visit and enjoy the pastor, that's good. You've discerned that the pastor preaches rightly, that's good. If you did your diligence and obtained a paper or looked at the website's doctrinal statement from your prospective church and it aligns with the Bible's major tenets, that's good. But don't stop there. What about the women? What about the Library? If the church has a library, go look at what books they allow to circulate among the members. If there is a Ladies' Ministry, look look at the last few studies they completed.

As a matter of fact, if the preaching is very strong and solid, it is more likely that the women's ministry will be weak, which means you need to look twice as hard. Why? Satan always attempts to creep in, and if he is blocked from the pulpit by firm truth, he will re-double his efforts to get in another way. That's what thieves and robbers do. (John 10:1, Jude 1:4). The women's ministry is often overlooked. So is the Library and so is the music. Vigilance is called for on all fronts, north, south, east, and west. No military force worth its salt fails to have a rearguard.

Conclusion:

1. Attachments and background matters.What church does a Bible teacher belong to? What does her husband teach or preach? What does her life look like away from the church? Who does she partner with? These are discerning questions to ask.

2. Church, watch the spokes of the wheel as much as the center. Satan will try to enter at any point. Men's Ministry, home groups, the church library, the music, the youth group, and the women's ministry are all exposed to satan and need guarding as much as the pulpit does.

3. Leave Lysa TerKeurst alone. Seek better Bible study teachers. Women, you don't need to study only from women teachers. As a matter or fact, I  recommend that you don't rely exclusively on female teachers. Mix it up. If there is a Sunday School group at church you feel comfortable joining, join one led by a man. If you do home studies alone or with friends or a more structured group, find one that is either co-ed or is led by a man, or if is led by a women, see if she is using a male-written study. I know that if you're in a co-ed group the Bible admonishes us to remain quiet, and you would not feel as free to comment as when you are with all women. So I understand the need and desire to study with other females. But do mix it up sometimes. :)

4. Please also read the critiques from other ladies as to why you should leave Lysa TerKeurst alone. They explain the doctrinal aspects of why Lysa is weak and  not good food for your soul.

Good online studies I recommend are women's ministries from Grace Community Church, such as Every Woman's Grace.

Michelle Lesley. She goes through books of the Bible including the Old Testament, as well as presents short series on discernment topics.

Jen Wilkin, recommended by Tim Challies.

Books and studies by Elizabeth George and Nancy Leigh DeMoss and older studies by Kay Arthur. Martha Peace and Susan Heck and Erin Benziger at Equipping Eve and Sharon Lareau at Chapter 3 Ministries.

To whom has your favorite female Bible study teacher submitted to? It matters.


*I do not know what "preacher chords" are or why Mr Dunn feels they are a negative.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

East is from the west: cardinal directions in the Bible

People don't refer to cardinal directions of north, south, east, west very much any more. If someone asks for directions and you tell them to go north three blocks, they look at you like you just lapsed into Hindi.

In the days before we were too reliant on GPS, people traveled by using the sun, moon, and stars. They spoke of cardinal directions.

In the Bible there is a lot of talk about the east and the west. (Of course, north and south is also spoken of but I'm concentrating on east-west today).

East is a major direction in the Bible and not just for the directions, but for the symbolism. Let's look at a few examples.

The Garden of Eden was planted toward the east. (Genesis 2:8).

The scriptures specify the LORD placed cherubim  at the eastern entrance of the Garden, to protect it and the tree of life.

After God drove out the man, He placed a cherubim with flaming sword to protect this eastern entrance. (Genesis 3:24).

The tabernacle faced east. (Numbers 3:38).

When God's glory comes/came to the Temple, it comes/came from the east:

Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing east. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. (Ezekiel 43:1-2).

The wise men followed the star which had risen in the east.

Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. (Matthew 2:2 KJV)

The Lord will return from the east. (Matthew 24:27).

For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

The sun rises in the east and its rays shine from that direction. John 1:5 says God is Light, in Him there is no darkness at all. The west is where the sun sets, bringing darkness. The east is where the Light is.

When the sun rises, the light comes from the east. When the Son returns, His Light comes from the east.

There is much more that can be studied on even so mundane a topic as cardinal directions. The wonder of the Bible is that you can take practically any topic, any word, and explore. And do you know what you will come up with?

Jesus.

That's why the Bible is so great. All scripture points to Jesus.

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (John 5:39 KJV)

Graphics Fairy







Monday, August 29, 2016

The crooked speech of gossip


Introduction

God hates sin.

Let me say that again.

God hates sin.

Of course, we know that, but sometimes we let our minds pass over it without thinking more deeply about the fact that God hates sin. Really hates it. Why does God hate sin?
God hates sin because it is the very antithesis of His nature. The psalmist describes God’s hatred of sin this way: "For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with You" (Psalm 5:4). God hates sin because He is holy; holiness is the most exalted of all His attributes (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 6:8). His holiness totally saturates His being. His holiness epitomizes His moral perfection and His absolute freedom from blemish of any kind (Psalm 89:35; 92:15; Romans 9:14).
The Bible presents God’s attitude toward sin with strong feelings of hostility, disgust, and utter dislike. For example, sin is described as putrefying sores (Isaiah 1:6, NKJV), a heavy burden (Psalm 38:4), defiling filth (Titus 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:1), a binding debt (Matthew 6:12-15), darkness (1 John 1:6) and a scarlet stain (Isaiah 1:18).
From: GotQuestions, Why Does God Hate Sin? For the rest of the essay, go to link here
If I let my mind do it, I'd be telling myself what a good person I am. Hey, I'm not a serial killer. I'm not a thief. I'm not a rapist. I'm not queer. Hey, I don't do those big sins! I'm pretty good.

Not so much.

I do the "respectable sins". I sure do. According to Jerry Bridges in his book "Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate", respectable sins are the ones we don't repent of, and nobody calls us to account for them. These are the sins we all collude over because we all do them, hence, the tolerating. What are some of these respectable sins? Pride, worldiness, anxiety, impatience, selfishness, gossip...

Am I proud? Yes. Am I selfish? Yes. Do I gossip? Yes. I'm a sinner! A disrespectable one!

Part 1: Sins of the Tongue

We can dispense with the obvious first. Some sins of the tongue are so immediately identifiable as inappropriate that we can and do call the speaker on those. Lewd jokes or using the F-word, especially in mixed company, at work, or worse, at church, are not tolerated.

If you ever read any parts of Proverbs at all, you run up against warnings about engaging in various types of bad speech. There are over 60 different verses addressing poor speech/right speech. There are lots of sins of the tongue besides lewdness and profanity, such as gossip, white lies, critical/harsh words, slander, insults, sarcasm/ridicule.

When Isaiah was given the vision of God on His throne, and He saw the majesty and perfection of our God, what did Isaiah say? I am a man of unclean heart? I am a man of unclean mind? No, though he was a man of unclean heart and mind (as are we). He said,

"Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!" (Isaiah 6:5)

Where did the angel cleanse Isaiah with the hot coal from the altar? On his breast to cleanse his heart? On his head to cleanse his mind? No. On his lips. Why? McLaren says
The vision kindled as with a flash Isaiah’s consciousness of sin. He expressed it in regard to his words rather than his works, partly because in one aspect speech is even more accurately an act, as it were, of character, and partly because he could not but feel the difference between the mighty music that burst from these pure and burning lips [of the seraphim] and the words that flowed from and soiled his own.
Though we are saturated through and through with sin, our heart, mind, strength and soul are all drenched with impurity and pollution. However, the mouth gives birth to the sin inside us. James said in James 3:10,

And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!

Sins of the mouth also include hasty words, flatteries, anger. (Prov 29:5, 11, 20). Proverbs warns against hasty words, and James 1:19 advises us to be slow to speak.

Part 2: Gossip

Let's talk about gossip. It might be a 'respectable sin' on earth but God spoke against "sins of the tongue" many times in scripture. Don't be fooled. Gossip is a big sin.

Proverbs 4:24 says,

Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.

And Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible says of the Proverbs 4:24 verse,
Our hearts being naturally corrupt, out of them a great deal of corrupt communication is apt to come, and therefore we must conceive a great dread and detestation of all manner of evil words, cursing, swearing, lying, slandering, brawling, filthiness, and foolish talking, all which come from a froward mouth and perverse lips, that will not be governed either by reason or religion, but contradict both, and which are as unsightly and ill-favoured before God as a crooked distorted mouth drawn awry is before men. All manner of tongue sins, we must, by constant watchfulness and stedfast resolution, put from us, put far from us, abstaining from all words that have an appearance of evil and fearing to learn any such words.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29).

Only such as good for building up...how many times do we fail at speech that is solely for the other person's good? How many times even in church do we gossip?

A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends. (Proverbs 16:28)

Whisper campaigns can be devastating. Sometimes a Christian doesn't mean to spread tales or doesn't know the tales are untrue. It's still sin. Sadly, other times, people deliberately whisper against others, even those who sit in the same pew. Whisper campaigns are-
-a method of persuasion in which damaging rumors or innuendo are spread about the target, while the source of the rumors seeks to avoid being detected while spreading them. Wikipedia



Part 3: The Solution

In returning to the moment when Isaiah realized the magnitude of his sin, and how it's expressed via his lips, McLaren says,
The next stage in Isaiah’s experience is that sin recognised and confessed is burned away. Cleansing rather than forgiveness is here emphasised. The latter is, of course, included, but the main point is the removal of impurity. It is mediated by one of the seraphim, who is the messenger of God, which is just a symbolical way of saying that God makes penitents ‘partakers of His holiness,’ and that nothing less than a divine communication will make cleansing possible. It is effected by a live coal. Fire is purifying, and the New Testament has taught us that the true cleansing fire is that of the Holy Spirit. But that live coal was taken from the altar. The atoning sacrifice has been offered there, and our cleansing depends on the efficacy of that sacrifice being applied to us. 
We're warned to put to death our sin. (Colossians 3:5). And yet, I don't. I don't regularly kill people, but I readily kill their character, name, or reputation through gossip, thoughtlessness, or hasty words. Daily I pray for strength to speak words that only build up. Every day I fail. Given the numerous verses which warn about gossip or other poor speech it seems that this particular sin is important to God for us not to commit. I continue in my pursuit of good speech.

I can console myself that several of the heroes of the Bible were caught up in the sin of gossip and complaining and tale-bearing.

Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman. And they said, “Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” And the LORD heard it. (Numbers 12:1-2)

But it is no consolation at all. The second part of this verse says, And the LORD heard it. Gulp.

In 1 Timothy 3:3, the passage outlining qualifications of overseers, the candidates are warned not to be quarrelsome. Matthew Henry has explained the word quarrelsome,
He must be patient, and not a brawler, of a mild disposition. Christ, the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls, is so. Not apt to be angry or quarrelsome; as not a striker with his hands, so not a brawler with his tongue; for how shall men teach others to govern their tongues who do not make conscience of keeping them under good government themselves? Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible
Isn't that a good insight? A brawler with the tongue. One who can govern his or her tongue is worthy to lead.

The solution:

--Remember, the LORD hears it.

--Let us confess our sin of gossip and tale-bearing when we do stumble.

--Adhere to the verse which admonishes that we should sanctify our lips by only allowing good speech such as for building up.

--Repeat

The Conclusion

There is an obscure prophecy in Zephaniah. At the end of time at the conversion of all the nations, the Lord promises that,

"For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the LORD and serve him with one accord."

Interpreters are divided as to exactly what this will mean. Does the pure speech refer to one language, as prior to the dividing of the peoples at the Tower of Babel when God confused the languages? Some think that this verse promises a reversal of the confusion of multiple languages and a return to one language, whether that possibly will be Hebrew, or not.

Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary explains,
turn to the people a pure language—that is, changing their impure language I will give to them again a pure language (literally, "lip"). The confusion of languages was of the penalty sin, probably idolatry at Babel ... The full restoration of the earth’s unity of language and of worship is yet future, and is connected with the restoration of the Jews, to be followed by the conversion of the world. Compare Isaiah 19:18; Zechariah 14:9; Romans 15:6, "with one mind and one mouth glorify God." The Gentiles’ lips have been rendered impure through being the instruments of calling on idols and dishonoring God (compare Ps 16:4; Ho 2:17). Whether Hebrew shall be the one universal language or not, the God of the Hebrews shall be the one only object of worship. Until the Holy Ghost purify the lips, we cannot rightly call upon God (Is 6:5–7).
Yet others think the verse in Zephaniah means less the literal 'one language' theory as a pure lips to call upon God once again interpretation. (As Adam and Eve did before the Fall.)
Instead it means the renewal of once-defiled speech. One’s lips represent what he says (the words spoken by his lips), which in turn reflect his inner life (cf. Isa. 6:5–7). The nations, formerly perverted by the blasphemy of serving idols, will be cleansed by God for true worship. As a result the nations, turning to reverential trust in God, will call on the name of the LORD and will evidence their dependence on Him by their united service (shoulder to shoulder). In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures
What a blessing to have only blessing come from our lips! As James said above, blessing and cursing from the same mouth? It is not right! Yet there will be a day when only blessing will emerge from our glorified lips, no inner stain to pollute pure worship and the name of the Lord as we vocally call hallelujah upon Him. And the LORD will hear it.



Sunday, August 28, 2016

Kay Cude: Creation!

Kay Cude Poetry. Used with permission. Click to enlarge



Saturday, August 27, 2016

"Encouragement In Grace" launch day

Forty-three years and thirteen years in the making, seven-and-a-half years of writing and three months of editing & formatting, today my eBook "Encouragement In Grace" launches at Amazon.

For 43 years I was an unsaved rebel enemy of Christ. Hating Him at every turn, I tried ignoring my festering conscience. I was perplexed by the revelation of God to the world through the world, but rejected the solution of Jesus as Creator. Finally I dabbled in almost every other religion I could find to salve my anxious and offended soul. For forty-three years, nothing worked.

After a torturous series of events lasting several years, at long last and in His perfect timing, I was saved by His grace. I did not have an aisle-walking pillow soft Just As I Am salvation. I did not have an easy experience with warm sensuous embraces by an invisible Groom. I did not hear a gentle voice calling me toward clouds. I was dragged kicking and screaming over the threshold of the Door and was given the grace to repent despite my howling objections. At last, I succumbed.

As a result, I value His grace so dearly.

Post-salvation, the Spirit prompted me to begin using my time and writing ability for His glory. I began blogging and exploring theological issues in the topics of discernment, encouragement, and prophecy, the gifts the Spirit had delivered to me. For nine years I blogged, accelerating my writing activity for the last seven years by blogging daily. I wrote on the range of topics in the way I prayed would encourage or convict readers and honor the Lord.

The internet, and blogs in particular, were a gracious addition to the technology the Lord has allowed to be invented. They have been a wonderful relief to me, a writer who has been minimally published, but despaired at the hurdles and gatekeeping of the tightly-knit publishing industry. Blogs allow authors to side-step all that. What a benefit to live in a nation that allows free expression and discussion of Christian topics on self-publishing platforms.

Years later, along came self-publishing platforms such as Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing. Hallelujah! KDP and other programs make self-publishing easier ... but never easy. Writing is not easy. Writing about God and for God is even less easy. Neither is it easy researching among the competing self-publishing platforms, proof-reading, formatting, and marketing. But it makes the process of disseminating material written by people like me more straightforward. For that, I'm grateful for the opportunity to make Jesus known through these means.

The next two books in this series will be published approximately four months apart. As with Encouragement In Grace, the next eBooks will be published through the Kindle Direct Program, Lord willing. They'll be called -

Prophecy In Grace

Discernment In Grace

If you should choose to buy the eBook, I pray that "Encouragement In Grace" convicts, enlightens, or sheds some other aspect of Jesus onto your heart and mind.



Friday, August 26, 2016

Faith of a child

I was in a non-church setting with some 7-year-olds recently. They were drawing a picture to go along with the story about pizza they had just read. When one boy finished his drawing he still had room on the page. He asked if he could draw a cross. I said sure.

Of course then the others wanted to draw a cross too. Most or all of them have been exposed to Jesus. As they drew their crosses they began to talk about Jesus. The original boy said Jesus died on the cross. Another said, isn't He living now? I chimed in and said His is living now, that He walked around on earth for 40 days and talked with His friends.

I explained the section from Acts where Jesus went up in a cloud right in front of some people and the angel came down and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you keep looking for Jesus? Go and spread the Good News of His resurrection!" and so on.

One of the girls breathlessly hung on my words and as I finished, she said with intake gasp,

"Where you there?"

I cracked up, and said "No, I'm not that old!"

"But how do you know?" she asked

"It's in the Bible."

"Ohhh!" she said.

Children are the reverse of adults. She was enthralled with the story of Jesus' ascension, she just hadn't had the wherewithal to know the specifics of the Bible. The faith of this child caused gasps of amazement and her feeling of immediacy within the story, intuitively living it in the now. It sparked questions, and though an ignorance the Bible, an interest in it.

Adults have the advantage of having the wherewithal to obtain a Bible, and to know the Bible. But  so many of them aren't moved by the story anymore. They have full access to it, don't read it, and are too cool to be breathless or show wonderment even at the most momentous events within it.

The faith of children is always so encouraging to me.

A child. c. 1938


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Reprise: The coming darkness

This was first published in October 2009 on this blog.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." (John 1:5)

"Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness." (1 Thessalonians 5:3-5)

I traveled across country in a VW van when I was 32 years old. Off the beaten trail in Arizona is a border town called Bisbee. It is a wealthy town, having been the seat of the most lucrative copper mine in American history, the Queen Mine. The mine closed after a hundred years in 1975 but almost immediately re-opened as a tour attraction. Retired miners give the tours, which start in the changing room. You must don a hard hat, a raincoat and a miner's light.

The miner's light is key.

The tour guide seats you on a train and chug-chug off you go, 1500 feet down into the earth. He talks along the way, which is lit with each tour member's hat, the guide's hat, and lamps on the walls. You see veins of metals and precious things in the walls of the very earth. You look ahead to dark tunnels descending deep. You admire the courage of the miners who extracted material from the earth day after day, living without sunlight as a trade for their pay.

It is pretty exciting and you feel exotic for having chosen this tour. Then the coup de grace comes. At the deep point, the miner tells you about collapses and bad things that happen. He isn't ghoulish about it, nor does he dwell for long on this unfortunate but practical aspect of life under the earth. But he gives a warning, and he says, "I am going to turn off the lights and I ask you to do the same on the count of three." We do and then ... total darkness.

I never forgot the moment the lights went out. We know the dark, it comes once a day. But there is always some light. Even if you work third shift and sleep in the day, there is always a sliver of light coming in, annoying you. The darkness isn't really dark, only dim, even at night, because there are stars. There is always light, somewhere.

Not in a mine. The darkness took me quite by surprise. You would not expect "darkness" to have so many qualities, but it does. First, its totality. The total absence of light was just that, total. There was no difference in opening or closing your eyes, it was the same. You could not see your hand in front of your face. Second, it was oppressive in the sense that it weighed heavily. You felt cloaked in it. It more than surrounded you, it permeated you. You did not know where your 'self' ended and the darkness began. Last, it felt alive. Yes, alive. No, it was not evil or ghostly down there and it didn't feel supernatural. The darkness simply felt more than part of the air, it felt like a thing unto its own.

All that in ten seconds.

The miner did not leave the lights off for long. It is dangerous and it is scary to be in a mine without light, and he just wanted to give us a momentary sense of what it was like for trapped miners.

When John says that "the darkness comprehended it not" he means that Satan is total darkness. So is sin. Satan's dark retreats from God's light. Paltry as the lamps were against the imminent absence of light, the dark retreated from it. As long as the Church exists on earth in her present form, the light will shine because it shines through men directly from the Holy Throne of God, and darkness will retreat.

There will come a time when the darkness will have sway: after the Rapture. God's light will still be present on earth, of course, in the form of the Holy Spirit, though He will not indwell. It will be present in the form of the 144,000 witnesses. But those lights will be like the lights on the miner's lamps in the deep earth, lit, but the darkness encroaching, waiting to pounce.

Then the end will come. Those who have refused the light will be forever plunged into that palpable, total, and horrifying darkness. There will be no light!! Do you understand what that means? The light bulb will be withdrawn for all eternity. Eternity is long to live without the light so many now take for granted.

In the cartoon, the girl complains that it is dark but the light is there, right next to her. She is blind but could see. I pray that you become a child of the light, not of darkness. You, right now, are benefiting from the Light of God on the earth even if you have not chosen to take him inside you through asking forgiveness of your dark sins. Yet, on that Day, comprehension will come too late. And you will have an eternity to comprehend the reasons why you did not reach out for what you now realize could have sustained you: His Light.