THE SOURCE OF TRUTH
As believers we all have some apprehension of the truth. How many of us, though, are in the light? Light is in God and is God Himself. Until we are brought into God Himself, we may be under the shining of the light, but we are not in the light. To be under the shining of the light is one thing; to be in the light is another. Under the shining we may have the truth, or the realization, but we are not in the light until we are in God Himself.
Then every hidden thing will be exposed. From the time we were saved, we have been under the shining, coming to certain realizations and understandings. Some day we shall be willing for this inner fellowship to bring us into God. In Him we shall be in the light, not merely the shining. Most Christians today are far off, even in darkness. Some are under the shining. But very few are in the light. Probably a good number of us have occasionally had experiences in which we were brought into God and recognized that we were in the light.
Suppose you get annoyed with another brother. You are not in the light yet, but under the shining you sense that your attitude was poor. You go to that brother and apologize that your attitude earlier was wrong. For you the apology is sufficient; after all, a bad attitude is a common fault, not to be taken all that seriously.
Some Christians would not even admit that they were wrong to be annoyed with a brother. It was the brother’s fault, they would insist. Why did he act that way toward them? He is the one who needs to say he is sorry; there is nothing for which they need to apologize. Such Christians are fully in darkness.
Will you allow the inner fellowship to bring you into God? Then you will be in the light. Under its glare you will tremble. You will realize that it is not only your attitude toward your brother which is to be condemned. You yourself in every part are sinful, fully contaminated, and thoroughly unclean. In the light there is no excuse, no back door, no side exit, no escape. You will weep, repent, and take hours to confess. Your hands may look quite clean now, but if you see them in the light, you will see how full of germs they are.
In this fellowship with the Father we have light, and in this light we have fellowship (1 John 1:3, 5, 7). The result of being in the light is the recognition that we are utterly sinful. Every member of our body is sinful. Every relationship with others is sinful. The way we wear our clothes is sinful. Because we are in the old creation, nothing about us is clean; we are polluted and condemned. Everything within us—our feelings, our intentions, our decisions, our concepts, and our ideas—is sinful. As human beings we are full of sin. The reason we do not have this conviction is that we are not in the light. When Isaiah was brought into the glory of God, he said, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips” (Isa. 6:5). We have some amount of truth, knowing that we should do this and be like that, but such a realization is not light; it is only truth. If we are willing to abide in the fellowship, it will bring us into God. Then we shall be thoroughly exposed by this light from which nothing can be hidden.
It is common among us to say that we apply the blood to our situation. This is not what 1 John 1 says about the blood, however. “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (v. 7). To say that we apply the blood is an indication that we are not in the light, but rather avoiding it. Light takes away all our cover-ups. It penetrates every hiding place. It so exposes us that we cry out, “Woe is me! I am unclean!” At that very moment the blood cleanses. This verse clearly tells us that if we are in the light, the blood follows the light to cleanse us. There is no requirement on our part to apply the blood. To apply the blood means that we have the realization that we are sinful but have not yet had our sins exposed in the light. Whatever the light exposes, the blood cleanses. Praise the Lord for His provision.
Yes, the blood cleanses, but all too often the weak ones, after the exposing, keep right on condemning themselves. We Christians are peculiar! Before we are brought into the light, we will not admit that we are sinful; yet once the blood has cleansed us, we will not believe that we are cleansed. We seem to like being in a state of condemnation!
(Seven Mysteries in the First Epistle of John, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)