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Twelve hours in the day

Query for the Month

of

February 2004

Next up-date: March 1st 2004 (God willing).

Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.

Some perpetual questions ....

Is there really an immortal soul?

What does it mean to "be led by the Spirit"?

Do you know the difference between the "love" that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world?
Click here to find out!

Click on the link for a good book on the character of our God which you can download for free and share amongst your friends.  An animated dove It's called "Light on the Dark Side of God" and is one of the best on this subject that I have ever read!


Query:

John 11:

7 Then after that says He to His disciples, “Let us go into Judaea again.” 8 His disciples say to Him, “Master, the Jews of late sought to stone You; and go You there again?” [Aren’t You afraid You might die?]

9 Jesus answered [their question], “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day[light], he stumbles not, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbles, because there is no light in him.” [If we walk with God we will see and do great things.]  


Answer:

After waiting for two days subsequent to receiving the news of the death of one of His closest friends, Jesus said to the disciples, "Let us go into Judea again." The disciples questioned why, if Jesus were going to Judea, He had waited two days, but could not get an answer. However, anxiety for Christ and for themselves was now uppermost in their minds. They could see nothing but danger in the course He was about to pursue. "Master," they said, "the Jews of late sought to stone You; and go You there again?" Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the day?"

What He was saying was, "I am under the guidance of My Father; as long as I do His will, My life is safe. My twelve hours of day are not yet ended. I have entered upon the last remnant of My day; but while any of this remains, I am safe."

Then He explained how this works.

"If any man walk in the day," He continued, "he stumbles not, because he sees the light of this world." He or she who does the will of God, who walks in the path that God has marked out, cannot stumble and fall. The light of God's guiding Spirit gives him or her a clear perception of their duty, and leads them aright till the close of their work. It is like walking in daylight with a map of the area.

"But if a man walk in the night, he stumbles, because there is no light in him." He who walks in a path of his own choosing, where God has not called him, will make mistakes for sure. For him day is turned into night, and wherever he may be, he is not secure.

This had a practical application during Christ’s life on earth.

Satan and his angels were very busy during Christ's ministry, inspiring men with unbelief, hate, and scorn. Often when Jesus uttered some cutting truth, reproving their sins, the people would become enraged. Satan and his angels then urged them on to take the life of the Son of God. More than once they took up stones to cast at Him, but angels guarded Him and bore Him away from the angry multitude to a place of safety. One special time, as the plain truth dropped from His holy lips, the people from His own village laid hold of Him and led Him to the brow of a hill, with some of them intending to throw Him over. When a contention arose among themselves as to what they should do with Him, the angels hid Him from the sight of the multitude, and He, passing through the midst of them, went His way.

Luke 4:

16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read [and when they did not like His interpretation of the words] . . .

24 And He said, "Verily, I say to you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 26 but to none of them was Elijah sent, save to Sarepta, a city of Sidon, to a woman that was a widow [a foreigner, outside of the church].

27 "And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian [also a foreigner]."

28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath [because He was saying that God loved others beside them], 29 and rose up, and thrust Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong [and kill Him]. 30 But He passing through the midst of them went his way.

Another time, weary from a hard day’s teaching and healing, He was fast asleep in the back of the disciples’ boat.

Mark 4:

35 And the same day, when the even was come, He says to them, "Let us pass over to the other side [of the lake]." 36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as He was in the ship. And there were also with Him other little ships [forming a little flotilla].

37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full [of water]. 38 And He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow [a coil of rope]: and they awake Him, and say to Him, "Master, care you not that we perish?"

39 And He [the Son of man] arose, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still." And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm [and all the ships were safe]. 40 And He said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" [He knew that, under God, they could have done what He had just done]

41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, "What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?" [The answer is, of course, an obedient Christian man who needed protection.]

He had come to show us how to walk with God and that is what He did. He expected His way to be as clear as daylight, so when He woke and saw the situation He just asked His Father what to do and was told to speak to the wind. It responded (by being controlled again by the Spirit).  Satan had temporarily taken over and caused the storm because he could work through the disciples’ humanity, but now he had to back off. The disciples had become frightened at this unnatural storm and had tried their hardest to save themselves and the ship. The other boats in the fleet suffered in the same way.

At last, having done all they could, they had called to Him for help. But the darkness and the noise hid Him from their sight and they began to fear that He had deserted them! They felt that the boat was sinking and cried out again in desperation because they were "walking in the night" with a dim faith. When they did see Him during a flash of lightning and woke Him, they were almost beside themselves. He asked them "Why are you fearful?" If they had walked in the "day" they would have known that until their work was finished they would not be allowed to perish. But their minds and hearts had been brought up on the teachings of the Jewish church and it had taught them to rely on their own efforts first, and then ask God for help to overcome if needed. They needed a lesson to remove this idea from their heads and that’s what Jesus did for them. "Rely on God first and last", He was saying.

Today those teachers and religious leaders who are as determined as were the priests and rulers to carry their students over the same old path in which the world continues to travel (independence from God) will go into still greater darkness. Those who might have been co-labourers with Christ, but who have spurned the messengers and their message, will lose their bearings. They will walk in darkness, not even knowing at what they stumble. Such are ready to be deceived by the delusions of the last day. Their minds are preoccupied with minor interests, and they lose the blessed opportunity of yoking up with Christ, and being labourers together with God.

The tree of knowledge, so-called, (aka The Bible) has become an instrument of death to many. Satan has artfully woven himself, his dogmas, and his false theories into the instruction given from it. From the tree of knowledge he speaks the most pleasing flattery in regard to criticism of the Bible. Thousands partake of the fruit of this tree, but to them it means death. Christ says to them: "You spend money for that which is not bread. You are using your God-entrusted talents to secure an education which God pronounces foolishness (anti-Christian.)"

Satan is striving to gain every advantage. He desires to secure, not only the clergy, but the laity. He has his plans laid. Disguised as an angel of light, he walks the earth as a wonder-worker using many who call themselves Christians. In beautiful language they present lofty sentiments regarding the love of God. Good words are spoken by them, and good deeds performed. Christ is personified in them, for they act in the way the people think Jesus would have acted, but on one point there is a marked distinction. They turn the people from the law of God.

Notwithstanding this, so well does Satan counterfeit righteousness, that if it were possible, he would deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:24. Even crowned heads, presidents, rulers in high places, bow to his false theories. These lead to criticism, division, jealousy, and rivalry, where all should be one in Christ. Only thus can they resist the temptations of the arch-deceiver.

But if we walk in the light, we would not have so many serious failures. "If any man walk in the day, he stumbles not, because he sees the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbles, because there is no light in him." The path of obedience is the path of safety.

"He that walks uprightly walks surely." Proverbs 10:9.

Proverbs 3:

11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of His correction: 12 for whom the LORD loves He corrects; even as a father the son in whom he delights.

13 Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that gets understanding. . . .

21 My son, let not them depart from your eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: 22 so shall they be life to your soul, and grace to your neck. 23 Then shall you walk in your way safely, and your foot shall not stumble. 24 When you lie down, you shall not be afraid: yes, you shall lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet. 25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it comes. 26 For the LORD shall be your confidence, and shall keep your foot from being taken.

Those who do not walk in the light will have a sickly, stunted religion controlled by their feelings. We should all feel the importance of walking in the light, however crucifying to self. It is earnest effort in the daylight, prompted by love for souls, which strengthens the heart and develops the graces.

Conclusion:

When Jesus said we should "Walk in the day" He was advising us to listen and obey ALL THE TIME.  Every time we do our own thing we are, in effect, walking in darkness and are sure to make a mistake.  If we do God's bidding, we shall live eventful and fruitful lives, not necessarily seen as such here on earth, but recorded that way in God's book. It need not mean great worldly success (Jesus ended up on a cross) but it does mean that we shall do what God wants and further His work, not hinder it.


Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated, but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.
Next query. To be discussed from March 1st 2004.

Matthew 16:

20 Then charged He His disciples that they should tell no man that He was Jesus the Christ.

21 From that time forth began Jesus to show to His disciples, how that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

22 Then Peter took [hold of] Him, and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Be it far from You, LORD: this shall not be to You.” 23 But He turned, and said to Peter, “Get you behind me, Satan: you are an offence to Me: for you savour not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”

Why did He call His beloved disciple, “Satan”?   

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