Called to be a Light

June 2020

My dear youth:

I greet you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and ask that His blessings, love, and guidance be upon you in abundance.

Light and darkness

God created light because He is light, “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5. In the beginning of this world’s creation, everything was covered in darkness but God’s powerful voice said, “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” Genesis 1:3. Thus was the light separate from the darkness in a define way and today we can see that there is day and night.

Life unfolds for human beings during the day, throughout it we work, move, make decisions, interact with others… While at night, we rest and replenish our lost strength. In Spanish, when a baby is born it is said that the mother “gave unto light.” If God wouldn’t have created light, this planet would be covered in the most absolute darkness. Light is life, it provides a sense of direction, happiness, in fact, many human beings don’t like the night. When we’ve had a restless night or we go to bed worried over something that bothers us when we sleep, light penetrates into our bedroom and provides us with a new day and a new hope.

It seems like we’re created to live in the light and to unfold better in it. In fact, at night our physical abilities and reflexes are reduced. If there were no light on this planet, everything would die. It’s normal for us to await the morning hours. Before I was a Christian I had to serve in the military and I remember that when it was my turn to be on night watch, the hours became long and endless. I only waited for daybreak to be able to end my eternal night. When I studied the Bible for the first time, I found a text in Psalm 130:6, then I realized that my experience of waiting anxiously for the morning wasn’t something new, “My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning—yes, more than those who watch for the morning.”

The symbolism of darkness

The Bible presents the night synonymous with sin, of the end of the time of grace, as living aimlessly, a time of inactivity, as walking blindly, as being dead. It’s not surprising that all these associations make the night a specific time to be used to regain our strength during sleep and not to be wasted by staying up late. “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness…” Isaiah 5:20. The Bible teaches that the night won’t exist when God renews the Earth, “There shall be no night there…” Revelation 22:5.

If a person is in the wrong or doesn’t have a clear knowledge of the biblical teachings, of them it is said, “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20. On the contrary, when someone accepts the inspired word and incorporates it in their daily lives, of them it is said, “But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.”  Proverbs 4:18. Not practicing the truth is to be in darkness (1 John 1:16). To be an unbeliever means to live in darkness (Proverbs 4:19). Those who leave the straight path walk on dark paths (Proverbs 2:13); those who reject Christ love darkness more (John 3:19).

Light comes to this world

In the Old Testament the symbolism of light is abundant and always applies to the knowledge of the truth, to walking along just and safe paths that lead to a good destiny. Israel walked in the light because Christ guided them, the prophets were enlightened by God in order to be able to write the Holy Scriptures. Shortly before their exodus from Egypt, the Hebrew people had light in their homes while the Egyptians were surrounded by darkness (Exodus 10:23). There was permanent light in the sanctuary that shone from the candelabra and illuminated the entire room and was a symbol of the work of the Holy Spirit. Over the ark’s lid, named the mercy seat, shone a bright light called the “holy Shekhinah” that symbolized the presence of God among His people. The light of God descended as fire from heaven to consume the offering prepared by Elijah. A dry bush was constantly burning and lighting up the place without going out while Moses was on Mount Horeb.

All the symbols of light pointed to Christ and His work. God is the greatest teacher of all time and He used figures that showed His people the relevance of light and their relationship with the Divine Person of the Lord Jesus. God is light and everything related with Him is bathed by that inspiring light. “The glory that shone on the face of Moses was a reflection of the righteousness of Christ in the law. The law itself would have no glory, only that in it Christ is embodied.” Selected Messages Book 1, p. 237.

When the time came, our Savior became flesh and was born in Bethlehem. Some wise men from the east were guided by light to the place where the child was. The birth of the Lord was the prophetic fulfillment of all those predictions that for centuries had been made presenting the glorious even of the incarnation of the Lord Jesus. John says that the light came to this world (John 1:14). He also states that in Christ “was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:4-5.

For centuries it’d been foretold that the light was to illuminate all men. When Christ became human, this was made a reality and His whole life was an example of how a man of God is to live; always in the light and not in darkness. Unfortunately, the Jewish people hadn’t understood this, and all their teachings and practices led them to live immersed in thick clouds of darkness of sin and spiritual ignorance. The time that the Savior chose to come to this earth was one of the darkest of all times, which is why it should’ve been easy to recognize His life and work as announced by the prophets, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.” Isaiah 9:2.

Prophecy was being fulfilled in every detail in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, made the lame to walk, gave speech to the mute, the deaf could hear, resurrected the dead, comforted the afflicted, forgave the sinners… What other signs did the people need to know the light was with them?

The Lord compared himself to the light, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12. The Lord’s mission was to take Satan’s captives out of darkness and into a marvelous light (Isaiah 42:16, Luke 1:79). Whoever accepted Christ as their personal Savior not only abandoned the dark path of sin but became a light bearer that enlightened the world as did their Master. But the majority of those to whom He came to save rejected Him when they cried out, “Let Him be crucified!… His blood be on us and on our children.” Matthew 27:23, 25.

You are the light of the world

Unfortunately, the Jewish people rejected the light and the Savior had to choose a remnant with whom He founded His church, and through which He wants to fulfill His purpose to enlighten the world as the Jews should have done. The Lord taught that every son and daughter of His should be a bright light that enlightens this world, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16.

The work the people of God of this time should do is clearly specified in the triple angels’ messages that appear in Revelation 14:6-13. These angels represent a movement that takes place in the time of the end with the goal of enlightening the world. It’s a specific message that presents the validity of the law of God, the validity of the Sabbath, the righteousness of Christ as the means to salvation, the time of the judgment, the mark of the beast, the time of trouble, the latter rain, and the final plagues. All these truths should be presented by God’s messengers in order to enlighten the world. “The Lord God of heaven will not send upon the world His judgments for disobedience and transgression, until He has sent His watchmen to give the warning. He will not close up the period of probation until the message shall be more distinctly proclaimed. The law of God is to be magnified; its claims must be presented in their true, sacred character, that the people may be brought to decide for or against the truth. Yet the work will be cut short in righteousness. The message of Christ’s righteousness is to sound from one end of the earth to the other to prepare the way of the Lord. This is the glory of God, which closes the work of the third angel.” Testimony Treasures, vol. 2, p. 373.

We have the help of God

We know this isn’t easy, without the help of God it’s impossible to fulfill this colossal task, but we have the biblical promise, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6. Yes, dear friends, it is our duty to enlighten the world with the biblical message. We are not alone to carry out this work; we have the help of the Holy Spirit as already stated and there are also members of the body of Christ in different parts of the world. The people of the Reform is represented in 156 countries; although we need to enlighten more nations with the light of the gospel and develop the churches and groups that exist already, the work is growing and expanding.

God invites you and me to be a light to this world. What does this mean? Simply that we are to reflect the character of Jesus. His life is to be exemplified in ours. We are to be an example, as was Joseph in Egypt, Daniel in Babylon, Esther in Persia. They weren’t created with a different nature than our own. They were just like us and were able with the help of God to set themselves up as references for the people of their time. Through their lives they were able to enlighten the minds and intellects of kings and great people. With their behavior they influenced the course of history. Isn’t this something extraordinary? Why can’t we do the same? I invite you to decide to enlighten this world with the glory of the gospel. God bless, inspire, and encourage you to do it. Amen.

José Vicente Giner

Pastor of the work in Switzerland

Youth Leader of the General Conference

Vice-president of the European Division

For reflection:

  1. Where does light appear for the first time in the Bible?
  2. Can you list some characteristics of light?
  3. How can we be a light to this world?