Children of the Light
By James Jacob Prasch
The subject I have been given is The
Children of the Light. This was a well known concept in the ancient Near East;
it was well known among various peoples. In Greek mythology they had the
concept the same as we have apocalyptic literature in the Hebrew Scriptures and
in the New Testament there is pagan Greek apocalyptic in terms of a literary
genre. The Greeks had a concept of it. So too did the Parthians
in the time of Jesus. The Parthians are the modern
Persians, the Iranians. They had this from the teachings of Zoroaster. Zoroaster
and the later Zoroastrians were influenced by the Hebrews. They knew that there
would be this idea of a war between the children of light and children of
darkness. But in the Hebraic context, in the Jewish context, several of the
Dead Sea Scrolls have the children of the light, the Qumran war manuals,
speaking about an apocalyptic conflict, actually several wars, the final one
being the last one. And this conflict, again being apocalyptic in nature, does
something that we see in the book of Revelation, in the book of Daniel, in the book
of Zechariah and certain other portions of scripture, certainly the book of
Joel. It relates the spiritual battles in the heavenlies
to the spiritual battles taking place on the earth. We see this many places but
nowhere more clearly than the book of Daniel. Daniel shows us the principalities
over certain nations,
The Jews had the concept, the pagans had the concept, the Parthians had the concept, but the New Testament comes along and Jesus and the apostles give the right interpretation of the concept. The others knew about it in some vague sense but Jesus gave the right understanding of what it meant, the “Sons of Light” or the children of light, benay or. You have the day and night, dark and light motif; the day and night, dark and light motif. We see it in the scriptures, we see it in the apocalyptic literature and again, it involves these battles, these conflicts. We understand, now in retrospect, that the final one, the ultimate one is the one when Jesus returns in Zechariah Chapter 12. When we interpret the book of Zechariah in light of the New Testament, we see that will be the final conflict. Again, it was something that was known at the time. The Greeks were talking about it. The Parthians were talking about it. The two civilizations of the East and West were talking about it but the Jews were also talking about it. But none of them had it right. Jesus came along and he explained what it would actually be and what it was.
Turn with me please to the Gospel of St. John, Chapter 12:35-36.
Now remember everybody was thinking about this; everybody was talking about it, Jews, non-Jews, pagans, Parthians in the east, Greeks in the west and above all, the Essenes. They were all consumed with this idea of the sons of light.
John 12:35-36: Jesus therefore said to them, "For a little while longer the light is among you. Walk while you have the light, that darkness may not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. "While you have the light, believe in the light, in order that you may become sons of light." These things Jesus spoke, and He departed and hid Himself from them.
Notice he told the Hebrews that becoming a son of light was something to be achieved and that those who don’t become sons of light are not going to know where they are going. They are not going to know what they are really doing.
Now he spoke in verse 35 of his physical, literal presence on the earth. The apostles were with him; the light was in the world. After he left, where would that light be when Jesus was not here? When he left that light was to be with us, the spirit of Jesus dwelling within us, we were to be that light that he had. When he was here physically, the light was incarnated in him, he was the light, not only personified but incarnate. Well that same light that he had, that he was, is supposed to be in us after he goes. Either you will have that light of Jesus or you will be in darkness and you won’t know where you are going. People can talk about all kinds of things, all kinds of philosophies, all kinds of religions, but if they don’t have the true light they are not going to know where they are going. They’ll know where they went once it is too late but they won’t know where they are going in the meantime. We have to understand this in John 12 in light of what Jesus first told us in John 1. It very closely, of course, parallels the creation narrative of the Septuagint. Look with me please to John 1:
John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, en arche kia Logos, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Well this is quite a term as we will look at in a few moments. It does not comprehend it, does not overtake it, does not overcome it. There is obviously a cosmic darkness because of the fallen nature of man, because of the fall of Satan; there is a cosmic darkness. Jesus is the true light. In him was life and that light was the light of men. Somebody either has the Lord Jesus or they are in darkness. Mohammed will not give this light. Buddha will not give this light; in fact, Buddha never claimed to. What people believe about Buddhism were things Buddha himself never actually even taught or believed about himself. There is a big difference between Buddha and Buddhism and Guatama. Well, they are in darkness, they are in darkness. Hinduism speaks about the light and about the inner light. They are in darkness; there is no light because there is no Christ. The only way to have the light is through the Jewish Messiah. The others are in darkness. They do not know where they are going. They may think they know where they are going, if they are following other religions, if they are following the teachings of Mohammed or of Hinduism, or of Janism or any other “ism” but they are in darkness. They do not know where they are going. No matter what they say, no matter how convinced they are, they really don’t know where they are going. It is like having a defective GPS; it is just not working. It is just not getting the right signal. They may think they know where they are going but they really don’t know where they are going. You must have this light of Jesus within you.
Now something was to
happen when the Gospel came, although Jesus came unto his own, John tells us, “his own did not receive him”. But the Greeks, again, had
this concept to a degree. They knew about the Logos. A Greek would have no
problem until you got to verse 14: The Logos became sarx, the Word became flesh. They
could not handle God becoming a man. Islam could not handle God becoming a man;
it still cannot handle it. Talmudic Judaism, not scriptural Judaism but
Talmudic Judaism cannot handle the concept of God becoming a man. The only
religions that can accept God becoming a man are ones that are not
monotheistic, essentially, such as Hinduism, everybody can be auto-deified or
something like this, but let’s look at this. The one true God becoming flesh; the Greeks
could not handle that. They would be okay with everything until you got to
verse 14. In other words, they had a part of the truth. They had a part of the
truth. When Mohammed became a monotheist he was told he had part of the truth. He
met Jews and Christians who told him he had part of the truth and the word that
was used from some Christians from
Acts Chapter 26:16-18—when Jesus appears to Rabbi Shaul of Tarsus: Arise and stand on your feet, for this purpose I have appeared to you to appoint you a minister and a witness, not only to the things which you have seen but also to the things in which I will appear to you, delivering you from the Jewish people and from the gentiles to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and the inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in me.
Understand Rabbi Shaul of
There is a person in
England called Steve Chalke and he said “Hindus can
be born again and saved by Jesus and Moslems can be born again and saved by
Jesus, even though they don’t believe in Jesus because of the true things in
those religions.” This is the
The Gospel came, we
are told, that they may turn from darkness to light, from the dominion of Satan
to God. If people are not saved by Jesus, if they are not regenerate., if they
are not born again in the Biblical sense of the word, not in the televangelist
sense of the word, if they are not truly saved they are in darkness. They are
Turn with me to 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8, where this becomes eschatological:
1 Thessalonians 5:1-8 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. [Most of you understand the Day of the Lord is that period that is inaugurated when the faithful Church is removed, either by resurrection (those who are asleep) or those who are raptured; that inaugurates the Day of the Lord, when God will pour out his wrath on the kingdom of Antichrist and he will come not like a thief, it is emphatic, just like a thief.] While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.
Now let’s understand this. The word here, that that day should not overtake you, is the same word we find in John 1: katalambano. The darkness does not comprehend it, does not overtake it, is not able even to receive it. It is translated variously but it is always the same word. In other words, that same darkness that could not overtake Jesus should not overtake us. He is the light and if he is in us, that darkness that could not overtake him, could not even comprehend him, neither should it be able to overtake us if we are indeed in the light. Same term. Look with me please about the caveats. It begins now to warn about being in the light, making sure we are in the light. This is not warning unsaved people. It is exhorting and admonishing Christians … us.
1 John 2:8 On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.
The true light is already shining and it follows with an exhortation of love of the brethren. The light that is coming to destroy this darkness should already be shining in us. We should be a harbinger of the great light that is to come again. The light, when Jesus came the first time was the beginning. He passed that light onto us; it is already shining in the darkness. We should be a beacon that the people in darkness should be able to see the light. The Church is to have a testimony that the people in darkness will see the light of Jesus.
The day before
yesterday, I was on a web site called ex-Messianics. It
is in Hebrew, it is a Hebrew web site and I clicked on it and I was reading it
and it was quite distressful some of the things that these rabbis who are known
as anti-missionaries were saying about believers, especially about Jews who
believe in Jesus. And on this web site, trying to persuade Jews not to believe
in Jesus and to equip them with arguments against the Messiahship
of Jesus it had a YouTube clip where you click on it. It shows little children,
and this rather obese woman in some church somewhere in the United States,
obviously from her accent, was whipping the children up to go into a frenzy
with tongues. It was completely chaotic. Now I do believe in a Biblical gift of
tongues but this was completely, completely chaotic. It was insane. Now
understand, Jewish people are skeptical of anything
Christian to begin with. They are skeptical of anything Christian to begin
with. When they see that lunacy what do they think? “Look what these people do
to children! They make the children psychos.” This web site knew all about the
money preachers, all about the Televangelists, they were showing people
everything that is crazy. Where is the witness? Where is the testimony? Remember,
the Church will be ready for Jesus to come back when? When will the bride be
dressed and ready? What is the litmus test? What is the acid test? When will
the Church be ready for Jesus to come back? When it can
provoke the Jews to jealousy. That is God’s litmus test, Romans 11, when
the Church can provoke the Jews to jealousy. That is going to take one spotless
bride. That is going to take one incredibly Spirit-filled and righteous Church.
That is going to really be something, but what are they seeing now? They are
seeing darkness. How great is the darkness. If the light is dark, how great is
the darkness? This is frightening. I was so, I wouldn’t say disgusted or angry.
I am way past that. But I have a burden for the salvation of
Look with me please to
Revelation 3:3. Jesus warns the church at
Revelation 3:3 'Remember therefore what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. If therefore you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you.
We are not supposed to be in darkness about the time of Jesus’ coming. We won’t know the day or the hour, but we are certainly to know when it becomes impending through the signs. But this church and the people in it are not going to be ready.
Revelation 16:15 ("Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his garments, lest he walk about naked [that is without the garments of salvation] and men see his shame.") [or his disgrace].
Nakedness in the Bible is not (what is seen on a) beach in Maui. Nakedness in the Bible is not having the garments of salvation.
But then we get the Noahide connection where it relates to the days of Noah. Look with me please to 2 Peter 3:1-6.
2 Peter 3:1-6 This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles. [Now that in itself is something. There was a book written a few years ago called “The God Chasers” where the author of that book demeaned the writings of the apostles as “dusty old letters to churches that don’t exist anymore.” He said “That was where God was at then.” Those books, those epistles, the New Testament, as it were, were written to Christians then, to those churches then. We have to go to where God is now. That was the theme of the book! Peter, James, John, Paul, that was for them. No, it’s your apostles, they are also for us. Do you understand? If the light is in the darkness, how great is the darkness. Yet this book was widely read, written by a man with a fundamentally heretical belief and the book was widely read, widely recommended.] “Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, [Hydrogen is the most common element on the periodic chart] through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. [Again, the days of Noah. ]
2 Peter 3:7-10 But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. [Now it is interesting, a hydrogen bomb, that which is water, kill by water, it can kill by fire.] But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. [Now I have explained verse 10 before]: But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
I have explained this before here in
The world is in a very precarious situation and it
is getting more precarious. The only thing stopping us from wiping ourselves
out is the hand of God. But they are going to mock. They are going to mock us
the same way as they mocked Noah. But it is not the world I am concerned with,
it is Christians. It is Christians. The dissipated interest in prophecy, in
end-time events is frightening to me. It is frightening. Watch the news today. These
things have been building up for years. It is simply a fact that in the 1956
The days of Noah. Peter draws on this Noahide connection in eschatology. We see this in Jude. Look with me please to Jude 1:6.
Jude 1:6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.
He is talking about the Nephilim, those who fell down. It says they came down then
and they came down afterwards. The Rephaim, the Anakim, these things were demonoids,
demonic incarnations. Something that happened in Genesis 6:1-3, the mixing of
seed. The Torah forbad the mixing of seed. You have rats with 1% human DNA. We
are no longer talking about science fiction, we are
just talking about science. What happens when you eventually begin giving
predatory animals higher degrees of intelligence through biogenetic engineering?
Monsters that can think like humans but they are not human. Jesus did not say
“As in the days of Noah,” he never said that. He said “Just as in the days of
Noah.” We are going to see some kind of an enfleshment
of the demonic before Jesus comes. This is in the book of Revelation,
it is in the book of Genesis. It is going to happen again. Obviously you see
people who are involved with extraterrestrial phenomenon and UFO cults are
obsessed with this stuff. They look upon it as provident. Look at it however
you want, biogenetic engineering is going to go out of
control into the hands of fallen man. Anything fallen man can use for evil he
will. This is not the problem with science. It is not the problem with
biogenetic engineering, it is the problem of fallen
man. The darkness. Even if Western countries try to
regulate it--you are going to get some third-world despot or dictator who is
going to allow it. I can genetically manufacture armies, I can genetically
manufacture servants, I can genetically manufacture
sex slaves. People will do this. They don’t have human rights,
they are not human, even though they behave like it. It is easy to see how the
prophecies of the image of the beast can become a reality. Again, this is not
science fiction, it is just science. These things have to be addressed now. It
is not a joke. Yet, people who are in darkness don’t know what they are playing
with. They don’t understand what is happening. Just as in the book of Genesis,
in the days of the
It should not overtake, it should not overtake! The Greek there is subjunctive in the mood. In other words, the theoretical possibility of it happening exists but it won’t happen to those who are truly living as sons of light. Look with me once again, please, to what we are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:
1 Thessalonians 5:5 For you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;
1 Thessalonians 5:8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.
Let’s begin: It should not overtake us. How will it
overtake people? This teaching of the light and darkness.
While they are saying peace and safety, destruction will come upon them. This
is not simply speaking of man’s quest for peace. That goes back to the League
of Nations, that WW1 was the war to end all wars. That is not going to happen. I
am not worried about the world being deceived; the world is deceived already. I
am worried about Christians buying into that agenda, people who should be sons
of light buying into that agenda. Oh, there is a peace but it is a peace that
passes all understanding. There is the peace of Jesus. Yet today, the Church is
being marketed with global peace plans based on interfaith unity, based on
ecumenism, based on uniting with Islam, uniting with Hinduism. I recall the
book written by Peter Kreeft, about 15 years ago
nearly and it was endorsed by major evangelical figures such as Chuck Colson
and JI Packer. I have warned about this book a number of times. It actually
says we need to have ecumenical union with Islam to morally redeem society. This
is Chuck Colson endorsing this. Saved Christians are buying into it. A Christ-less
book and they think it is Christian. There is no Christ in it but they think it
is Christian. There is no peace in it but they think it is peace. It is
darkness but they think it is light. When men say “peace and safety” then the
end will come. Jeremiah warns this repeatedly. They say “Peace, peace, but
there is no peace.” That is what happened before the Babylonian captivity and
that is what is going to happen before
“Let us not sleep.” Isaiah 28 warns about those who get
into the bed of the flesh. This kind of complacency; the hallmark of
The third is sobriety. Look what it says “Be alert, be
sober.” That word there is related to the Greek word egkrateia, self control. I’ve
actually seen it on video after video. I’ve watched it on web site after web
site, major Evangelical leaders telling Christians to be drunk, falling down as
if they were inebriated in drunken hysterics. Rodney Howard-Browne from
1 Thessalonians 5:8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.
It is not the same armor that is listed in Ephesians 6 or in Isaiah; however, it uses the same kind of analogy. The breastplate protects the heart and vital organs of the thorax. What is going to be attacked is our faith and is our love. Most men’s love will grow cold. Now understand something, it has become so twisted, so perverted, so crazy that if somebody loves the Church enough to say “Wake up, sober up, don’t listen to this stuff, Jesus is coming, deception is here, get away from that stuff” … “You’re unloving, you don’t love the brethren, you’re critical. How dare you shoot that wolf in sheep’s clothing? You don’t have the love of Jesus.” Why not just pick up that little lamb and serve it to the wolf, be a good believer. This is how dark the darkness has become. This is how perverted and twisted their thinking has become. I am not an alarmist, I am a realist. I am not a sensationalist, I am not sensationalizing anything. Go on the Internet and see for yourself. You know what is out there. Forewarned is forearmed. Put on the helmet of the hope of salvation. Our thinking about salvation is being attacked. We have to unite with other religions? We have to unite with Hinduism, with Roman Catholicism? We have to unite with Talmudic Judaism? We have to unite even with Islam? That is what we are being told! Those religions cannot save. They cannot give anybody the hope of salvation. In the New Testament elpis, hope, is future fact. I will tell you the future fact. It is only those who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ who will be saved; that is the fact. The rest is darkness. But then it goes on.
Revelation 3—again this carnal church, the
Revelation 3:1 "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars, says this: 'I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. [Just look at the Televangelists, they think they are alive. They are dead. They are a corpse on an artificial life support machine. They have no spiritual life in them anymore. They have gone into heresy and carnality.] 'Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. [Just like the Reformation, it went back a certain degree but it wouldn’t go all the way back. The reformers went back to the Church Fathers; they wouldn’t go back to the New Testament radically.] 'Remember therefore what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. If therefore you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you. 'But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white; for they are worthy.
Oh, there are some people. I do not say there are not
some Protestants who are truly saved, who truly love Jesus, but look at the mainstream
Protestant denominations. I live in
Strengthen the things that remain. We heard the truth, hold on to it. Then it says “Repent.” It is always that but they are not preaching repentance any more. This is the big one. This is the instrumental one about the sons of light. This parable is very difficult to interpret. Different commentators look at it differently. We would need a whole Bible study just to pull it to pieces. Nonetheless, let’s read it:
Luke 16:1-13: Now He was also saying to the disciples, "There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and this steward was reported to him as squandering his possessions. "And he called him and said to him, 'What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.' "And the steward said to himself, 'What shall I do, since my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg. 'I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the stewardship, they will receive me into their homes.' "And he summoned each one of his master's debtors, and he began saying to the first, 'How much do you owe my master?' "And he said, 'A hundred measures of oil.' And he said to him, 'Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.' "Then he said to another, 'And how much do you owe?' And he said, 'A hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and write eighty.' "And his master praised the unrighteous steward because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light. "And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the mammon of unrighteousness; that when it fails, they may receive you into the eternal dwellings. "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. [That is interesting in itself for all of us] "If therefore you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous mammon, who will entrust the true riches to you? "And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
It very much parallels what we see in Timothy about the
qualifications of an elder and the qualifications of the deacon are almost
identical, first the physical, then the spiritual. If you cannot look after the
physical affairs of the church, you can’t look after the spiritual affairs of
the church. It is no coincidence that the deacons in Acts Chapter 6, people
like Philip and Stephen went on to become elders and leaders and things like
that. A good way to begin ministry in the church is to begin as a deacon. What
is a deacon? A servant. A shamash in
Hebrew. You want to be used by God and climb the ladder of ministry? Well stay
after church and vacuum the carpet and put the chairs away. People with a
servant spirit like that, they are good candidates for
leaders. That is how it begins. But look at how it talks about money. It warns
about loving money but it says if you can’t handle it, be shrewd. In this
fallen world, money talks. That is all there is to it. In the
fallen world, money talks. But in the worldly church,
money talks. My favorite rabbi said: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. Nothing will
show our real attitude towards the things of God and towards the Lord himself
than our attitude towards material wealth. Don’t love that stuff, look out for
it, but be shrewd. Unsaved people are shrewd. Unsaved people wouldn’t send money
to a televangelist, they can see right through him,
they know he is a con artist. The sons of darkness are shrewder than the sons
of light. Jesus told us to be “Innocent as a dove, wise as a serpent.” The
serpent beguiled the woman. We should be just as clever, just as slick as the
one trying to seduce the Church. We should be just as wise in the ways of the
wicked as the wicked one. Just think of a policeman in a big city like
It should not overtake us. It should not! But if you are
swallowing these false proclamations of global peace and false plans to achieve
peace you are on the very slippery slope; you have already got your head in the
trap. If you are not being alert—if you are not watching the prophetic
significance of the times in which we live, certainly events in the