Though all men have the knowledge of good and evil, those who find it much easier to be inclined to evil are by far in the majority. This, obviously, is as a result of the sinful nature of man. Notwithstanding, those to whom opportunity is given to see divine light so as to be saved by God but fail to make use of or identify themselves with the light and prefer to remain in darkness, have no excuse!
According to the Scriptures darknessis used as a spiritual term or in a figure of speech to mean ignorance, error or evil generally. And light symbolizes knowledge or understanding, truth and righteousness.
In this evil world there are two ways before all men: the way of light and the way of darkness. The former belongs to God Almighty and is identified with truth and righteousness; but the latter is that of satan the devil and its marks are falsehood and wickedness. So while the good are called the children of light, the wicked are known as the children of darkness.
King Solomon stated: “The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.” - Proverbs 4:19
For the fact that men are born in sin the devil takes advantage of their frailty or weakness and holds, them in spiritual darkness. Under that state men are prone to deny the existence of their very Creator, the Most High, Who dwells in the heaven of heavens; worship idols, the works of their own hands; offer sacrifices to the dead who are helpless and have returned to their dust; practise witchcraft, sorcery and magic; commit murder, adultery and fornication; indulge in stealing, lying, drunkenness, bribery and other evils; and are inclined to be filled with malice, envy, hatred and so forth.
This is the way satan, the prince of demons or evil spirits, holds people in spiritual bondage and blindness. His agents and agencies are manifold. Among his tools are false prophets who see visions of devils and teach for doctrines the commandments of men and the imagination of their own hearts.
It is to the end that the children of God who are in satan’s captivity may be set free and given the light of life that Jesus Christ at the command of the Almighty Father came to this world. This is clearly shown in the prophecy concerning Christ’s mission on earth, which prophecy he himself read thus: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” - Luke 4:18, 19
The gospel which is the word of God - the Truth - brought by Jesus Christ gives knowledge and understanding. It carries with it spiritual force that makes those who are in spiritual darkness or are blind at the instance of satan to regain their sight and to be delivered from the devil’s bondage. Jesus himself said: “…If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. If the son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” - John 8:31-32, 36
Jesus Christ is the truth personified. (John 14:6). He is the light, And he declared: “…I an the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” - John 8:12
Today, many people find it had to follow Jesus Christ - the Light - because of their worldliness. They want to get rich quick and be socially popular and so they steal, take bribes, commit frauds and oppress the poor. They want to “enjoy” life and this by their own definition means women and drinks with result that they choose night clubs in preference to the assemblies of God.
Even among those who claim to be Christians there are many who are still in darkness. Like the Pharisees they pose to be holy but they stick to false doctrines and traditions of men contrary to the Scriptures. To them what Christ told the Pharisees still applies. As it is written: “And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.” - John 9:39-41
Men are required by God to identify themselves with the light - the truth - so that they may be save. But it is a pity that many people are taking the wrong course. In John 3:17-19. It is written: “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
Jesus Christ, in this text, has made it known that the reason why people prefer darkness to light is that their deeds are evil. And he added: “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” - John 3:20, 21
Some people often confess that God’s Kingdom Society (GKS) is preaching the truth but it is their opinion that her rules are rigid and there is “too much” discipline. But can anyone cite an instance of a rule in the GKS which is not in harmony with the Scriptures? Said St. Paul: “We all know that the law is an excellent thing, provided we treat it as law, recognizing that it is not aimed at good citizens, but at the lawless and unruly, the impious and sinful, the irreligious and worldly; at parricides and matricides, murderers and fornicators, perverts, kidnappers, liars, perjurers - in fact all whose behaviour flouts the wholesome teaching which conforms with the gospel entrusted to me, the gospel which tells of the glory of God in His eternal felicity.” - 1 Timothy 1:8-11 New English Bible
As a matter of fact those who like to practise Christianity loosely cannot find the GKS a convenient place for them to hibernate. But sincere worshippers or sinners with contrite spirit who have no pleasure in iniquity are quite happy with the faith.
Demands of Christ
A converted Christian must not entangle himself with the works of darkness but should endeavour to meet the demands of Christ. St. Paul admonished the believers at Ephesus: “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” - Ephesians 5:8, 11-12
And St. Paul in his epistle to the Romans stated: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” - Romans 13:12-14
Another thing that makes come people reluctant or unable to follow the truth is their prominent positions in certain associations and their love for worldly praise and ungodly wealth. Such attitude was shown by some of the rulers in the days of Christ on earth. As it is written: “Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (John 12:42, 43) But Jesus Christ said: “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” - Verse 46
Everyone is to choose for himself between light and darkness. No one can be in the light and at the same time be in darkness. There is no agreement between the two. “For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial (devil)?...” asked St. Paul Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
In the light of the foregoing it is therefore wrong for any Christian who is a disciple indeed to associate himself with any secret cult or have anything to do with idolatry or to have fellowship with false prophets. Chieftaincy titles associated with paganic rites must be denounced by any faithful Christian who wants his loyalty to God and Christ to remain undivided.
John the apostle wrote: “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” - 1 John 1:5-7