In the beginning, we are all like the earth was when God first formed it. We are void of all spiritual life, goodness, true peace and soundness of mind. Darkness covers us like a garment (Gen 1:1-2).
This darkness is real and its power overwhelms us unless we get help from God. God, from the very beginning teaches us the remedy;
This light is compared to wisdom, understanding, guidance, and eternal life. While darkness is compared to ignorance, the opposite of light, the opposite of knowledge.
God says that all humanity is deceived because they walk in this darkness of ignorance to His Christ who is called the Word of God [the LOGOS];
"...the ancient serpent, the one called the devil and Satan, WHO DECEIVES THE WHOLE WORLD..." Revelation 12:9
God warns us elsewhere:
"My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge..." Hosea 4:6
Say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you." Isaiah 35:4
“And a certain man was there, which had an illness thirty eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, Will you be made whole?” — John 5:5-6
On the other hand, God compares knowledge of His word as a lamp that lights your way.
"Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path." Psalm 119:105
"The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." Psalm 119:130
"God is light." 1 John 1:5
And God has shined His light on the world THROUGH Jesus Christ (John 1:1-14);
Jesus said; "I am the light of the world. The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12
When we do not have the light of God in our lives, we walk in darkness, ignorance.
Darkness is where the devil is (Colossians 1:13; Acts 26:18; Ephesians 6:12). Satan takes advantage of our ignorance (John 8:44; 1 Peter 5:8). Satan uses our ignorance to manipulate us and lead us further and further away from God. Even going as far as to impersonate God's messengers in order to lead many more souls astray;
"And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light." ~2 Corinthians 11:14
Which is why it is URGENT for us to come to God on His terms and give Him all our heart, soul and mind (which is the first and greatest commandment). God, out of His love and mercy, informs us to do this for our own good.
When we are without Christ in our lives, our souls know we are missing something. Something very important. We often work hard trying to find what it is we are missing. And many people are looking in all the wrong places.
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But narrow is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13, 14
What they find are cheap substitutions for God's peace. People become addicted to these things because it temporarily causes a pacification of anxiety and depression. But God warns; "There is no peace, saith the LORD unto the wicked." (Isaiah 48:22)
People begin to realize that they have to submerse themselves deeper into their diversions to escape the reality of their devastating feelings of loneliness. They also begin to realize that over time the distraction is less and less powerful. Then these people become tormented when they find that what started off to be a pacifying of the mind has turned into a deep and dark addiction that causes continuous, everyday spiritual death to their soul.
Temporary highs and distractions
People have distractions. And there are many to choose from. Alcohol, entertainment, sporting events and even politics. Whatever it is people put their whole heart into, if it isn't God, it's actually idolatry. And idolatry will only bring spiritual sickness.
God commands for all our attention to be placed on Him and His Word, the Holy Bible. Then and only then will we be able to be used by God and serve Him correctly. Christ says "My words are Spirit and they are LIFE." and, "I am that bread of LIFE." (John 6:48) "Now are ye clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you." (John 15:3)
This "clean" feeling spoken of by Christ is what people are really looking for in this world. The cleansing of the mind, soul and conscience. People have a filthy conscience and many may not realize what's going on or what they can do about it. People want to know why they are troubled.
We can know everything of the highest importance in this universe by studying God's Word. God's Word separates light from darkness. And if we thoroughly know God's word we will be able to understand all things.
"Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand ALL things." (Proverbs 28:5)
There is no separation between God and His Word. There is no teaching about God anywhere other than God's written word.
"Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture comes from the prophet’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever brought about through human initiative, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." 2 Peter 1:21
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17
The Word of God IS God (John 1:1). And this "Word" is God's introduction of Himself to humanity. "Word" [of God] is actually more than just word. It is the English translation of the Greek word LOGOS. LOGOS involved the mind behind the word. Logos is the expression of that mind. So "Word" [of God] is much more than just word. There are no other inspired teachings outside of God's written word. I don't care what any voice says to you. I don't care If you have had dreams, visions, hallucinations, or "after life experiences". IF they do not line up with the teachings of the Bible, then they are NOT of God.
Paul warned the church:
"But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be under a divine curse! As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you embraced, let him be under a divine curse!" Galatians 1:8-9
Many people say, "There is no Satan", and "he's just a scapegoat to put all the blame on when something bad happens." But that is not what the Bible says. The Bible says Satan is a fallen angel who is full of wrath and is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. If you want to keep denying that there is a Satan then you will surely wind up in hell. Because your only victory over this foul and damned spirit is thoroughly knowing the Word of God and keeping it (abiding in Him, keeping the commandments).
"And take.. the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:" Eph 6:17 (Your only spiritual defense against the powers of darkness!)
The Word of God has been eternally established as the Word of Life (1 John 1:1; Philippians 2:16), the "Word of salvation" (Acts 13:26 ), the "Word of the kingdom" (Matt 13:19), the Word of "reconciliation" [to God] (2 Cor 5:19), the Word of grace (Acts 14:3), the Word of the good news (Acts 15:7), the Word of righteousness (Heb 5:13), the Word of faith (Romans 10:8), the Word of truth (2 Cor 6:7; Eph 1:13; Col 1:5; 2 Tim 2:15), The Word of the Anointed One - Christ (Colossians 3:16), and "the Word of His power" (Hebrews 1:3).
"For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
Salvation is defined (in Strong's concordance) as "wholeness". With wholeness comes soundness. Soundness of mind, and well-being. And Salvation, wholeness, soundness of mind, comes through belief (faith) in this Word of God;
"Consequently faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word of Christ." ~Romans 10:17 NET.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
Because it's God Who does it all. In His mercy, goodness and LOVE.
"And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the Word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." (Acts 13:48)
Belief and obedience can not be separated. These two are one. One demonstrates his belief or faith by what he does. By how he responds to what he has heard.
Christ says "Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it." (Matthew 7:24-27)
The written Word of God has been preserved by God Himself and will save our soul and keep us strong if we seek God through it.
"And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified." Acts 20:32
Through adherence to the Word of God we receive eternal life and all the wonderful promises of God. The Word [LOGOS] of God created ALL things and is the power and wisdom of God. We must keep the eternal life within us - through obedience (fellowship/ partnership with God) - in order for us to go to heaven and have victory over any and all obstacles that we face while here on earth.
"We know that anyone born of God does not keep on sinning; the One who was born of God protects him, and the evil one cannot touch him. We know that we are of God, and that the whole world is under the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true—in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life." ~1 John 5:19
The two most talked about sides of God in the Bible are His love, and His wrath. Through God's written word these two sides of God are presented to us as a choice we make. Which aspect of God's personality do you want to be applied to you? What do we want? The curses of God, or the blessings? Heaven or hell? Health or sickness? Joy or sorrow? Soundness of mind, or depression, anxiety and psychosis. Life more abundantly or the constant fear of death? The choice is ours.
"Choose you this day whom ye will serve:" Joshua 24:15, Deuteronomy 30:19
God wants us to turn to Him. If we have sorrow turn to Him. If we have fears, turn to Him. If we are lonely, turn to Him. If we feel like dying, if we feel like we can't endure another day, turn to Him. Turn to God now with all your heart and be blessed with the peace that passes understanding. God can fill that void in your heart and soul! He did it for me. And I know He can and will do it for you, IF you turn to Him.
God promises us through His Old Testament prophet Isaiah, "You wilt keep him in Perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in Thee. Trust you in the LORD for ever: For in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:" (Isaiah 26:3, 4)
"For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7
He's talking to those who have received Christ. So receive Him now!
He says all throughout His Word that He loves us and wants us to make peace with Him before judgment day. He loved us so much He came down and died on the cross for us to wipe away our sins so we can have a new and fresh start in life. A life walking with our wonderful and loving Creator. And He raised from the dead and wants to give us His Spirit and fulfill prophecies in His Word. Especially Ezekiel 36:24-32 and Jeremiah 31:31-33.
That is what happens when we become BORN AGAIN.
“Jesus stood up and called out in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. To the one who believes in Me, it is just as the Scripture has said: ‘Streams of living water will flow from within him.’” John 7:37-38
And God says; "For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:13
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Let the one who hears say, “Come!” And let the one who is thirsty come, and the one who desires the water of life drink freely." Rev 22:16-17
I, Thomas Richards, only write these things because I have experienced Christ. I am a witness of His resurrection. And Jesus saved me over 20 years ago from a very miserable existence. And I know He can do the same for you. Even if you don't fully realize it now, the more you learn of Him, the more you will understand Him. "God is love." And His love is extended to you right now.
You can be saved!
God loves the people in the world so much that He came down to die for us. If God is opening your heart to His message and you feel convicted for your sins which have separated you from a holy God and you feel the need to be forgiven, then say this prayer. This is how I was powerfully converted to the Christ in 1997!
Say, "My Lord and my God, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe Jesus the Christ died on the cross and shed His precious blood for the forgiveness of all my sins. I believe Jesus raised from the dead and ascended into heaven and is now on the right-hand side of God listening to this prayer. I open up the door of my heart and I invite You in, Lord Jesus. Thank you, God, for saving my soul and I vow to serve you with all my heart which is the first and greatest commandment. Amen."