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Let There Be Light

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are {just} a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
James 4:14

It is the goal of Understand The Times to share the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world in these last days by pointing believers and unbelievers to the truth of God's Word.

Let There Be Light consists of Commentary by Roger Oakland as well as transcripts from his daily radio program that fit this category. We also have letters posted that have been received by the ministry that we would like to share with you.

 

Commentary
by Roger Oakland

 ďLET THERE BE LIGHTĒ

It was one of those precious moments in life I will always remember. It was late December, 1991. The location was Moscow, Russia. Gorbachev had just announced the collapse of the Soviet Union a few days before. A number of us were gathered to celebrate the miraculous things we had experienced in Russia over the past week by Godís grace. God had opened doors for the proclamation of the creation message in Russia and other republics of the former Soviet Union in the most incredible way.

Just a few days before, our book The Evidence for Creation had been officially released for distribution in Russia. It was the first book on creation translated into Russian and printed in Russia. The day before, I had been interviewed on Russian national television on a program that was broadcast throughout the former Soviet Union Ė (an audience that covered ten time zones). I had been asked to talk about the existence of God based on evidence for creation. Indeed, this was a modern day miracle!

The person responsible for setting up this incredible opportunity was a man by the name of Fred Lutsenko. I had met him in Kelowna, British Columbia just a few months before. Both of us sensed our meeting was a divine appointment. God used Fred, along with a Russian scientist who had become a creationist and was working with a publisher in Moscow, to arrange our meetings in Moscow,.

During our final celebration gathering, a number of people shared their thoughts and impressions about the events that had occurred over the past week. Fredís cousin, Valentina asked if she could say a few words. She, like millions of others who lived through the Communist era, had been brought up in a system that forced people to believe in evolution. God and the Bible were forbidden and considered to be religious mythology.

Valentina stood to her feet with a copy of The Evidence for Creation in her hand. She pointed to the front cover and to the graphic illustration of a shaft of light shining on Planet Earth. ďI would like to pray and ask for Godís blessing on this book,Ē she said. Then she said these words that are etched in my mind forever: ďAs the light shines on the planet that we see on the front cover of this book, may the message in this book bring light to our dark country.Ē

Valentinaís words were profound. The Soviet Union was one of the darkest places in the world for over 70 years as Satanís kingdom flourished. Over 60 million people had lost their lives because of this atheistic-communist regime. But now, by the grace of God, Godís Word was being proclaimed through the message of creation. Suddenly a phrase popped into my mind: ďLet there be light.Ē

Although I knew where these words were found Ė the first chapter of Genesis - the words took on an additional meaning - Let the light of Godís Word bring the truth of the gospel to people who have never heard. From that moment, God gave me a vision for the ministry of Understand The Times Ė shining the light of Godís Word into the darkness in order to transform lives that have been bound by Satan. ďLet there be light.Ē

Discerning How to Discern

Discernment ministries are almost always perceived as being negative. Certainly I am often accused of being against everything. Dealing with deception, by definition, is negative. But is there a way to be discerning and positive at the same time? This is the question that has been reverberating in my mind for some time.

Throughout the Bible we see that God calls certain people for specific tasks. Sometimes these tasks are not easy. Sometimes the ones He calls are not even willing to take on the responsibility. Do you remember Jonah?

Jeremiah and Ezekiel are two examples of watchmen we read about in the Old Testament. They were not appreciated for proclaiming the message God had called them to proclaim. Nevertheless, they were obedient and desired to please God rather than compromise in order to please men.

Or what about the clear warnings of deception by those God inspired to write the New Testament? Then there were the very statements that Jesus made about deception. It is apparent that God does call certain people to head up legitimate ministries to warn the world and the church.

Being called to warn people about deception in our day is not an easy task. Think for a moment. If someone is deceived and is quite comfortable in his or her deception, when confronted with their error, what will be their reaction? Seldom do those who have been deceived acknowledge the truth and say ďthank you so much for warning me.Ē Instead, they attack the messenger and try to put an end to the message.

A discernment ministry like Understand The Times attempts to shed the light of Godís Word on Satanís deception. However, not everyone can see Satanís schemes or understand his agenda. If they could they would not be deceived. When we attempt to warn Christians and non-Christians about Satanís deceptive plans, we often face opposition Ė sometimes hostility.

So what is the solution? I suppose one could just be positive about everything and overlook spiritual error, but that would not be honest and true to what God has said in His Word. The only solution that I can think of is to simply quote Godís Word. Godís Word is light. Godís Word is truth. Godís Word will shine light into darkness. A small amount of light can make a tremendous difference.

I like what Paul wrote to Timothy regarding discernment ministry. This is what he said about how to try and reach believers who have been led astray:

And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. [1]

Notice what Paul is telling Timothy. A servant of God must show humility and kindness. When a brother or sister is in error we are to point them back to the truth in a gracious caring way. Second, it is apparent that Satan has a clever plan to capture the unsuspecting in a trap to make them ineffective. Whether or not the victim of deception will be released seems to be based on whether or not the person chooses to be released. Of course, because of pride, there are no guarantees.

So there it is - Godís Word for Godís servant, for Godís people whoíve been led astray by Satanís deception. Now there is one more area. What about those who donít believe that Godís Word is Godís Word? How do we reach them with a positive message?

Two Ways to Eternity

There are two roads to eternal life. One is broad, traveled by many who are headed to hell. The other is narrow and few are those who find it. This is the path to heaven through Jesus Christ alone. Being a witness for Jesus is telling people about this narrow way. What a blessing it is when the lost discover the narrow way!

I have had the privilege to be involved in ministry for over a quarter of a century. During that time the Lord has given me the opportunity to travel the world and share His word with many people in numerous places. With many experiences behind me, I have come to a very clear and concise conclusion Ė there is no greater thrill in my life than to see someone step out of darkness into the light and come to know Jesus.

The world is full of candidates for conversion. Billions of people are deceived. Should they die before coming to the truth, they will spend eternity in hell. This compassion for the lost guided by Godís Spirit leading and directing me will be my call until the day I go to be with Jesus.

Think of the billions who do not believe in Jesus because they have rejected God because of evolution. Or what about the billions who believe everything is God, including themselves, because of the New Age and Eastern religion? Or consider the many who believe they believe in a gospel but instead they have embraced another gospel, another Jesus and another spirit.

Telling people the truth about Jesus and His Word brings light to a dark place. While this is the most important message that one could ever hear, it is obvious that Satan does not want the world to receive the message.

Further, we are living in a very significant time in history when we are seeing scriptures fulfilled pointing toward the soon return of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The time to be witnesses for our Lord is limited. While no one knows the day or the hour, we do know the season. We are in the latter days of the season right now.

Understand The Times is committed to proclaiming the light of Godís Word in a dark place in these last days. Because we have had the privilege of seeing many come to Christ, we want the ministry of Understand The Times to be known not just for telling people what is wrong, but also for proclaiming what is right and true. We want unbelievers to know Jesus through the proclamation of His Word.

For this reason our web page at www.understandthetimes.org has been recently modified. You will find a tab on the left hand side titled ďLet There Be LightĒ. In this section we will post radio transcripts and commentaries including testimonies and letters from individuals who have had their lives transformed by Jesus Christ and His Word.

This is our way of letting our supporters and website visitors know what we are really all about. Yes, we will always be involved in pointing out deception by using Godís Word to expose darkness. But we also want to be known for our desire to be humble servants of God, desiring to see all come to repentance and spend eternity with Jesus by discovering who Jesus is and what He has done.

He is the light of the world. In Him there is no darkness. [2]

My prayer is a simple one: ďLet There Be Light.Ē


[1] 2 Timothy 2: 24-26

[2] I John 1:5

Understand The Times is an independent non-profit organization in Canada and the United States.
Understand The Times is not affiliated or dependent upon any other organization or denomination.
Understand The Times is accountable to a board of directors in the United States and Canada
and accountable, first of all, to Jesus Christ and His word.

 

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