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Ptolemy, Temples and the True Light

The Egyptian King Ptolemy is said to have arrogantly walked into the temple's sacred holy of holies. (Two hundred years before Christ, it was Ptolemy who held sway over the Jewish nation.) If legend is true, he re-emerged with an exclamation, "There's nothing in there but darkness!"

He was right. Where the light and glory of God should have been, there was only the darkness of neglect and emptiness — God-abandoned darkness.

Many who claim Christ are like the temple Ptolemy entered — the outside is in impressive order but the inside holds nothing but darkness — and a few cobwebs, perhaps.

Jesus said, "If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matt. 6:23)

There is only one solution to this heart darkness — Christ, the Sun of righteousness, dwelling within.

You can pursue all that the world views as enlightening today, and still have a dark heart. Even worse, you can study the Scriptures with a dark heart. You can go to church with a dark heart. You can do mission work with a dark heart.

On the other hand, when you study the Scriptures because you see the Light of Christ in them; when you worship with other believers because Christ enlightens that circle; or when you evangelize simply to share the Light of Christ that is already in your heart, then you have indeed been illumined by Him who is the "True Light."

Our day is a dark day, spiritually. Christ — and the church — desperately need men, women and young people whose greatest desire is to live their lives in the Light. There is no place to be satisfied with discussing the Light, or lauding the Light, or occasionally sending the Light. Instead, we must be desperate to be fully in and of the Light.

In the darkness that surrounds us, there is only one answer to world-embracing apostasy in our churches — it is the revealing, illumining, enlightening Light! There is also only one answer to formal, apathetic coldness in our churches — it is the burning, consuming, warming Light!

Take the True Light out of any heart or any congregation and you have darkness, but welcome Him in and there is light. . . . Take Christ out of a religious lifestyle and you have nothing but good ethics. Welcome Him in and you have holiness. . . . Take Christ out of prayer and you have ritual. Welcome Him in and you have communion. . . . Take Christ out of obedience and you have law. Welcome Him in and you have liberty. . . . Take Christ out of the church and you have a sect. Welcome Him in and you have the body of Christ.

The True Light is among us, and enlightens every heart that is opened to Him. There is no excuse for darkness when we can be "full of light." "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light." (Ephesians 5:8) 

—Arlin Weaver

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