Does Your Religion Has An Expiration Date?
Today's believers have substituted their religion for their calling and their pious devotions for a high mark of belonging to an enlightened family. Yet, women and men on earth have never been called to just graduate in religious ceremonies and forget the purpose of religion at the first place. The provision of religion was to teach how to go to the Light and defeat darkness. Religion is a journey one takes to get to the Light, not a permanent resident status. Religion is not an entertainment club party, but for solving the human tragic fall from Light to darkness. Our universal calling has always been to come out of darkness and walk to the Light.
Regrettably enough, we have been so good in doing religion that we have missed the connection to the Light. Darkness ends with a connection to Light. Religion ends when the spirit of man - the living Temple of God - reconnects with the Light of God to disconnect with darkness and evil. That's why we should be more concerned about the expiration date of our religion rather than the tested longevity of our rituals. Becoming children of the Light all amounts to a walk, connection, and demonstration of Light to defeat darkness and evil. Unsurprisingly, God shows no interest in peoples doing religion in mosques, temples, and sacred forests, while being oblivious to reconnect with His Light, and who made peace with darkness. Rightly so, don't introduce your religion to the world. Introduce people to the Light for them to conquer darkness around. The world has not been waiting for your religion, but for your Light to see and come out of darkness. But beyond the metaphor what is darkness and Light?
THE TRAGEDY OF DOING RELIGION IN A BROKEN TEMPLE
SUKKOT - the Feast of Tabernacles, is the last festival out of the seven feasts of the Lord on the Jewish calendar. For seven days the peoples are to offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. The festival of Tabernacles makes reference to the Hebrews' journey in tents in the desert while projecting us forward into the future Messianic age when all nations on earth will be flowing to Jerusalem to worship the King. Indeed, in the future, the Feast of Tabernacles is the only festival that will be regularly celebrated in Jerusalem by ALL nations left after the tribulation. That's the only festival of the Lord when Jews and Gentiles will join together to celebrate the King. Zachariah 14: 16-19 gives us a prophecy about all the nations of the earth coming up to Jerusalem to worship the Messiah sitting on David's throne. The clue and reason of this world festival is that the Messiah is going to restore His fallen tabernacle.
During the closing festival of the Feast of Tabernacles, there is a final ceremony called the "Illumination of the Temple". To mark the "Illumination of the Temple", a great candelabra reaching up to the highest walls in the Temple would be lighten up. The great light would illuminate the whole Temple court and the city of Jerusalem. Jesus attended in person the ceremony of the "Illumination of the Temple". It is at the very spot where the candelabra sits that Jesus chose to unequivocally make this public declaration: “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8: 12.
On the natural realm, Israel's struggle to get out of the captivity of Egypt is the shadow. On the spiritual dimension, captivity to sin or darkness is the very substance. To mark the coming of light into our darkness and sin, religious rituals repeatedly organize ceremonies around burning candles. Yet, at the end of religion, people return to struggle with their spiritual darkness. On the natural, a religious ceremony about the illumination of the Temple was being performed. On the spiritual, Man as the fallen temple of God on earth was not yet being restored by the Light of God. Despite the fervent religious ceremonies about the "illumination of the Temple", the real temple of God was still overrun and inundated by darkness or sin. That is the tragedy of doing religion and being spiritually disconnected from God, defeated by sin, and overruled by darkness.
Thus, by a timely sortie, Jesus was boldly telling his audience that it is impossible to lit a candelabra in God's Temple and still remain in darkness. It is impossible to illuminate Jerusalem - the city of God - and still dwell in a dark city. It is self-contradictory that God's children have the Holy Spirit of God and manifest evil or darkness. Any place where light radiates, there is a reflection of light. When God's children walk as the children of light, they bring light to the world, they show light to their environment. God's children are supposed to carry the Light for all to see. Yet, how come they are spreading darkness and evil around ? All those who claim to be children of God cannot possess Light and manifest darkness. It's impossible for God's children to possess light and manifest evil, to be bearers of goodness and radiate evil, and to be walking in righteousness and diffuse unrighteousness.
Here, standing in the temple, was Jesus, the true Light of the world. Religion gathers around to burn candles, and fails to see the Light of the world standing in the midst. Jesus did not join the believers to perform a religious ceremony or bring another sophisticated ritual. He came as a demonstration of the Light of God. The only human in whom there is no darkness, unrighteousness, and evil has arrived. Fittingly, being a child of God is not doing religious ceremonies in the Temple, but rather illuminating the true nature and character of God around us. Being a child of God all amounts to a walk and demonstration of Light to defeat darkness and evil. Light always prevails against darkness. What is darkness?
THE ONLY KINGDOM FOUNDED AND RULED ON THE LAW OF IGNORANCE
Darkness represents the evil kingdom of satan. Darkness is the spiritual foundation of the satanic kingdom. Darkness or evil rules in this kingdom. To enter this spiritual kingdom, one has to simply step into sinful acts by way of joining this kingdom club. By so doing, one has joined a king who opposes God's nature and character being manifested in men and women in the world. The law of darkness is the ruling force that fights to counterpose or cancel out the law of Light. God first word in creation is: Let there be light! Satan builds the principle of his kingdom by opposing the exact divine command. Satan commands at all time : " Let there be darkness !" "Darkness" means ignorance. Satan is the prince or the ruler of darkness and the first one who established a world dominion by the law of ignorance or sin. In this kingdom, men and women are led through the area where they are mostly ignorant. Satan controls and misleads humankind by the area where there is a lack of knowledge and light. To such an extent that one has to be spiritually blinded to be under the rulership of the prince of darkness and carry out works of darkness. Indeed, it takes a dark spirit, mind and heart to embark on evil agenda. In 2 Corinthians 4: 6, darkness represents the spiritual ignorance of those whose sins has blinded their eyes from seeing God's Light and truth.
The end result of darkness is destruction and death. The law of darkness is bringing destruction and sowing the seeds of death. Thus, darkness is sin and death abiding principle. Darkness always leads to darkness. Darkness never leads to light and truth. The law of darkness unleashes the government of darkness to manifest around the one who submits to it. The government behind the laws that we submit to will always stand behind us to deliver for us. In Romans 8: 2, Paul rightly understood this principle when he wrote: "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." Paul was under the submission and rulership of the law of darkness. And sin delivers for his every move and behavioral pattern. Now, when Paul traded the law of darkness for the law of Light, his life shifted to the government of life. Paul could now experience genuine freedom, that is spiritual freedom from the law of darkness. Paul was ignorant about the law of darkness and therefore, submitted blindly to it.
To have a connection with the kingdom of darkness, one has to eat the fruits of this particular kingdom. Eating the fruits connects one to the ruler and gives legal birthright to this kingdom. The only way satan connects people to himself is through the partaking of the fruits of darkness. If you don't eat of the fruits of darkness you can never be part of this kingdom. What are these fruits?
"The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like" Galatians 5: 19-21
A sinful nature manufactures bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander. The sinful nature is corrupted by "lust and deception". It tells lies. It sins by letting anger take control of human. And anger gives a foothold to the devil. Sin leads to theft and uses foul or abusive language. Darkness brings confusion in the mind and heart. Darkness has no sense of shame. Those who have seen the Light stop partaking to the fruits of darkness.
MANAGING RELIGION & CULTURE VIA IGNORANCE
In Ephesus, Paul, shockingly met a deeply entrenched dark cultural behavior that runs contrary to God's character and nature. Prostitution was permissible. Indeed, the flourishing business of ritualistic prostitution was a financial bonanza for the maintenance and building of temples. Promiscuous relationship was fashionable. Deceiving, cheating, or swindling in daily life became consecrated common wisdom. Being violent and arrogant was a lifestyle. The peoples simply reflected the character of the gods they worshipped.
Stepping into the streets of Ephesus, Paul shared the Light to this Roman world in order to dispel the heavy clouds of darkness in the city. A fierce opposition began to build up in the city against Paul's new teaching. Light became something of a nuisance to darkness. In Acts 16: 21, the people in Ephesus accused Paul to "teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans". Cicero, a prominent scholar, taught the people to stand against any teaching that will disrupt the pride of their culture and the foundation of their civilization. Cicero indeed was a defender of prostitution and personally emphasized that:
"If there is anyone who thinks that young men should be absolutely forbidden to love courtesans - meaning prostitutes - he is extremely severe...He is at variance not only with the license of what our own age allows, but also with the customs and concessions of our ancestors. When, indeed, was this not done? When did anyone ever find fault with it? When was such permission denied? When was it when this was not lawful that is now lawful? "
In Ephesus, Paul set out to remind those who came to accept the gospel of Christ where they came from. They all came from a dark past where licentious lifestyle and unjust ways of going about one's daily business were the norms. We were all spiritually dead to trespasses and in our sins before we knew what Truth and Light are all about. We didn't know what is wrong from what is right. We were busy not simply promoting darkness, but we were darkness itself. We were not simply doing some sinful acts here and there. We were sin itself moving, promoting, acting, and showing off. But now those who came to Christ are Light in the Lord and should walk as children of Light. From now on, they have to hate darkness that they formerly lived in and dwelled in. Be what you are. You are Light: Walk that way! You are darkness: Walk worthy of darkness! Our standing determine now whether we left darkness or are still in it. If your past was darkness and your present is Light, there should be a clear difference between DAY AND NIGHT. If you walk as the children of Light, you must be able to show forth the fruits of Light. What are the fruits of ignorance?
COMING TO THE LIGHT IS A UNIVERSAL CALLING
God is Light because there is no sin in Him. Light here means holiness. The Light of God speaks to His divine nature and character. In Leviticus 10:3, God reminded his people that "Among those who approach me, I will be proved Holy". Holiness connects to holiness. Light connects with Light. God called Israel out of Egypt for a journey leading to the establishment of a holy nation with holy people. It is a call out of darkness to enter the Light, not a call to do religion. God has called all men and women to come out of darkness into His marvelous Light. God's marvelous Light is a call to moral and spiritual excellence where there is no place for sin.
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out from darkness into His marvelous light " 1 Peter 2: 9
Anyone who ever follows the Light never walks in the darkness, but takes a journey to the Light. There is a threefold purpose awaiting those who called themselves children of the Light. One, to be in the Light is to be a person of Vision. Two, it is to sign up for a colonial mission in a dark world. Three, it consists on achieving a policy of assimilating darkness into light. That's why, children of Light are born into darkness to see the Light; to walk in the Light; to be in the Light; to bear the image of the Light; and to become Light.
The purpose of the children of the Light into this world is to fulfill a vision mandate. Their mission is to see the Light despite the darkness or sin around them. It is being sent into mission to see Light where there is darkness, good where there is a dominion of evil, right and equity where the standards of measurement are fake, wrong and untrue.
The children of the Light have a walking mandate to fulfill. They have to occupy darkness by walking it through. They have to colonize darkness and evil. Occupy till I come! That's the mission assigned to the children of the Light. The children of Light are sent as colonial powers to domesticate the unruly domestic evil kingdom. One tool of colonialism is teaching and assimilation. After occupying a territory, the new masters bring in their laws and policies. Every body under the jurisdiction of a colonial power must come to the same standards of learning and obeying the new laws of the occupying kingdom.
Finally, once people have been driven out of their ignorance, they have to be or become Light. That's the demonstration or assimilation mandate. Children of the Light are not doing religion. They demonstrate who they are, the Light of God. The illumination of Light dispels and defeats darkness. Light does not entertain darkness. All have to be assimilated and reflect Light. That's how we achieve victory. Victory is won only when darkness is defeated. It was at Antioch that the followers of the Light of God were called Christians as Acts 11: 26 recalls. Why? This group of believers walked in Light to convict the Roman empire that their civilization was overpowered and governed by the law of darkness. The Gentiles saw the Light in them, exposing the futility and the wrong doing of their culture. Therefore, those who responded to the gospel of Christ became former people of darkness. The fruits of Light are found in all that is good, right, and true.
LIGHT BEARS FRUITS
The fruits a tree bears testify to the value of that tree. The test that we are ex-roommates of darkness is when we stop manufacturing evil and bear tangible fruits of Light. Children of the Light bear three distinctive fruits. They have the fruits of the Spirit of God: the fruits of goodness, righteousness, and truth.
One, to walk as children of Light is to be good. The mark of the children of Light is that they have goodness in them. “for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness….” Being good is a fruit of the Spirit of Light. God is good. Thus, to be good is to be like God and reflect God's character. A good person cares for the well-being of others. A good person is a life-giver and life bearer. God is the Father of Life. Being evil is to be like satan and reflecting satan's nature. An evil person is a death carrier. Such a person thinks about the destruction of others and the world around. Children of Light are those who mature and graduate in all goodness.
Two, to Walk as children of Light is to be righteous. Righteousness means equity, innocence. Equity offers the ability to share the same standards and standing with a person or a thing in metrics. For instance, equity metrics in health seeks to develop a quality of health standards opportunities for all level of human communities in a given environment. Children of Light receive a right standing or the same protocol of treatment with God. Jesus gives us his righteousness so that we could stand with Him as sons to the heavenly Father. That's the reason why we have to be conformed to the image of God's son. The standard test of measurement is Christ. And we have to take the same weight of Christ to achieve a level of righteousness. We have to mature as sons of righteousness to stand on the same metrics of evaluation with Jesus. Children of Light are upright before God and others. They treat all peoples with the same standard God is evaluating all his children.
Three, to Walk as children of Light is to become people of truth. Coming to the truth is coming to the person of Christ and departing from the deception of darkness. Children of Light speak the truth in love. They are people recreated in their spirit by the Word, who is Christ. They have no darkness to hide from, since they now walk in the Light.
Going to the Temple or Being the Temple of God?
When does your religion expire ? Religion is man-made self cooking recipe to domesticate darkness. The outcome has been so far a tragic, perpetual, and dramatic showtime venue with no victory. Religion can never defeat darkness and evil. As yet, no religion has been successful in defeating evil or darkness. Thus, the unity among world religions and the project of One-world religion will amount to globalizing our frustration with darkness, and not defeat it. Only Light can defeat darkness and evil. There is no other substitute ! Light terminates darkness. Religion expires with a connection to God's Light. We have been so good in religious ceremonies, and failing to spiritually connect to the Light. Going to the Temple to burn candles ends when man becomes the living Temple of God where God's Light, Righteousness, and Truth are demonstrated to defeat darkness crowding the spiritual condition of man. Don't become a religious permanent resident to the point of forgetting to become a living Light. Don't ever mistake your religion for your calling. To all men and women, the calling is to become holy, righteous, love, and Truth. We have all been called to become Light in a dark world, not to do religion.
Freedom from the law of darkness and evil does not come because man is doing religion, but genuine freedom comes when man's spirit receives the Light of God. We are never free until the human spirit is free. We are never enlightened until the human spirit receives the Light of God to conquer darkness. We will never enter the Temple of God until our true temple where God desires to dwell is illuminated by His Light. It is when our human spirit has the Light that we can make an offering of fire to God, and then, we can go to Jerusalem to worship the King. God is Light and Spirit. Only a human spirit that becomes a reflection of Light can contact God. Jesus showed up at the Feast of Tabernacles to put an end to religion. Jesus is not bringing a new religion, but rather a demonstration of a long awaited remedy to sin. He is a demonstration that darkness or evil is defeated by the Light. The Light of the world has finally come. The expiration date of religion was long overdue. Now is the time for the children of the Light to demonstrate what is inside the inner temple of the human spirit for the world to see.
The coming of the Messiah is for the restoration of the broken temple. The broken temple is the fallen spirit of man, endlessly fighting through religious rituals to reconnect with the Light since man's shameful and disgraceful fall in a garden. Man did not fall from heaven. He took a fall because he lost connection to the Light. The restoration of the Temple is the restoration of our human spirit. Only a restored human spirit can receive the Spirit of Light and defeat darkness. Only a restored spirit can defeat darkness and make an offering of light to God in Jerusalem. When all nations on earth will be going to Jerusalem with Light to offer to God in gratitude for their restoration, darkness in the world had finally been defeated. Justifiably, there will be a reason for the Jews and the Gentiles from all nations to celebrate the festival of Light together. Because the Light of God has returned on earth in the midst of His people. See you all in Jerusalem for Sukkot !
Narcisse Jean Alcide Nana, Evangelist.
His last book on cyberwarfare is: Virus Militarisés,
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