TRUTH AND LIGHT
The same is true of truth and light. At one end, the end of expression, it is truth, which means reality or realization. At the other end, the source, it is light. When we are holding the truth, by implication we are also holding the light. If we go on in the fellowship back to its source, we shall see that there is not only truth or realization, but light as well. To be in the light means that we have the source of truth or reality.
The Bible does not say that God or Christ is grace. Nor does it say that God is truth, though it does tell us that Christ is the truth (John 14:6). But that God is love and light 1 John clearly states. We are also told that God is Spirit (John 4:24). Love, light, and Spirit are all common terms, yet how can we explain the difference in their usage here? Spirit refers to God’s essence; God is Spirit just as a book is paper. That God is love means that God’s disposition is love.
God is love. Even if you beg Him to hate, or tell Him that you do not want His love, He cannot be other than love. That is the way He is.
That God is light denotes His function in expressing Himself. Light is what shines and illumines. Without it, we are in darkness, deprived of any positive realization. Once the light comes, however, this shining issues in realization. We can see people, distinguish colors, and identify objects. How do we realize the truth of God? It is by His being light. When He shines in us, we realize Him as reality. Reality comes from the light’s shining.
When we read the Bible, we find the truth. In Romans 6, for instance, we read that our old man has been crucified with Christ that we might be freed from sin. This is the truth, or the reality. Our reading, however, does not bring us the experience. We were taught to reckon that we were dead that we might experience the truth of Romans 6. Reckoning resulted only in our being more alive than before. We felt that our efforts to know and experience this truth were futile.
There is another way. If we are in the fellowship and allow that fellowship to bring us into God, there in the source God as light shines over us. Under His shining we have a realization. This is the genuine reality, resulting not from reading the Bible but from being enlightened.
Suppose a sinner hears the gospel and believes in the Lord Jesus. The Lord comes into him as a living Person. This newly saved one immediately senses the life flowing within him. His formerly unbearable situation seems to have faded away. The life flowing within sustains and strengthens him, making him feel joyous and free from any problems. This is the experience of grace. Along with it is the realization that the Lord Jesus is real and living. The thought of Jesus fills him with delight. He enjoys what the Lord is to him, and he has the realization of the reality of Jesus.
TOUCHING THE SOURCE
While we are in this happy condition, we find our prayer spontaneously going out to the Father. “O Abba Father! You are so good! How I thank You for forgiving my sins! Now You are with me. You are my life.” We were not intending to address the Father, but there was an inner directing that brought us to Him. As our prayer continues, the sense increases that we are in the Father’s presence. We wonder if we are in heaven or still on earth. There comes a sense of being sustained by something even finer, deeper, and sweeter than grace.
We have touched the source of grace, which is love. The grace which strengthens and upholds us is the expression of that love. Through prayer we have been brought into God. Not only has He entered into us, but we have been brought back into Him through fellowship. Abiding here in God we taste not only grace but love, the root of grace, as well.
The New Testament, strictly speaking, nowhere says that this love, which is God Himself, does anything for us. When Paul besought the Lord to take away the thorn in his flesh, the Lord told him, “My grace is sufficient for thee” (2 Cor. 12:7-9). Whatever Paul’s suffering, grace kept and sustained him. He tells us further how grace operated in him and for him in 1 Corinthians 15:10: “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” Grace is spoken of as accomplishing things on Paul’s behalf, but we do not find love referred to in this way.
Most of us are content to remain in the expression, rather than come to the source. We testify to others how gracious the Lord is to us. We used to get angry with our wife even if she simply looked at us in the wrong way. Now, even if she yells and screams at us, we are still happy and can praise the Lord. What grace He has given us! Yes, this is His grace, but we can go deeper and be brought into God, the source. Here we shall touch love, which is deeper and sweeter than the grace which sustains us.
As we are under the shining, God penetrates our very being. We are enjoying not the truth but God Himself as the light shining over us. Here we realize all that God is to us. We are in the hidden place, the secret place of the Most High. Here we are rooted in nothing less than God Himself. God as the source of grace is love to us. God as the source of all realization is light to us. We enjoy Him as the source. Unlike most Christians, who are satisfied with the outward expression as grace and truth, we are at the source enjoying love and light, no longer limited to their external manifestation as grace and truth.
This shining occurs within the fellowship, which is the flowing of Christ as life within us. It is this flowing which brings us to the source of grace and of truth. Here God shines whatever He is into us. This brings us the realization. We enjoy God as love, the source of grace. We participate in God as light, the source of truth. This enjoyment and participation is the outcome of the fellowship, that life which is always flowing within us.
(Seven Mysteries in the First Epistle of John, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)