Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"Angel of Light"

"This is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ" (John 1:19-20).

The Lord Jesus Christ said of John the Baptist, "Among those that are born of women, there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist" (Luke 7:28). John, nevertheless, was not the Christ, and he made sure that people knew to look beyond him to see the One of whom he bore witness.

When making decisions about those spiritual voices to whom we will listen (and we must make such decisions), the confession of "I am not the Christ" is a vital consideration. Does the witness, the teacher, or the writer give the impression that even though he may be called by God to give testimony of the Lord Jesus, he is also much aware of the deadly possibility that hearers or readers may misdirect their trust to the servant rather than the Savior? John was "the voice of One crying in the wilderness" (John 1:23). But he was not the One, and he well knew how prone people are to place their trust in dust rather than Deity.

Lucifer was a being of great responsibility in Heaven before he fell. "Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth." He was "full of wisdom and perfect in beauty" (Ezekial 28:12-14). However, self importance filled his heart, and he deluded himself into believing that he was more than a created being can be. "I will be like the Most High" (Isaiah 14:14). Thus, Lucifer the "light bearer" became Satan the "adversary," and the father of lies (John 8:44). He seeks to cause others to direct their trust to "the creature rather than the Creator," and he is more than willing to cast himself as "an angel of light," portraying his ministers as "ministers of righteousness" in order to deceive and destroy (Romans 1:25; II Corinthians 11:14-15).

Where might we most expect to find the devil's ministers? The answer must be a splash of cold water in our faces, and it must rouse us to action. Supposed "ministers of righteousness" will be those who do the most damage to the hearts and minds of unsuspecting sheep. The Lord Jesus referred to them as "wolves in sheep's clothing," and thus we must accept the somber truth that amid the framework of Christian communication in its many expressions, the dark light of fallen Lucifer will be most disseminated. "Beloved, try (test) the spirits" commanded the Apostle John, and for good reason. "Many false prophets are gone out into the world (I John 4:1).

Every genuinely called Christian communicator is aware that he may draw people to himself rather than the Lord Jesus. It will not be his intention that such a horrible aberration take place. But he knows it can happen. Therefore, in word, in attitude, in demeanor, and in conduct, his testimony that Jesus is the Christ will be accompanied by the necessary companion testimony of John: "I am not the Christ." Listen to and read those who minister accordingly. And turn away, no, run away from all who do not.

"Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth's sake."
(Psalm 115:1)

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