by S. Dilks

Many questions arise in the mind in regard to this subject. To us, darkness seems to be a natural consequence of the movement of the sun, and so we take darkness as a normal feature. That God has stated in Isaiah 45:7, "I form the light and create darkness" seems to add weight to this conclusion, yet we are shown in Rev. 22:5 that night is to be no more, and even the light of the sun will no longer be necessary.

That God creates darkness is the teaching of scripture, and cannot be put aside. That He eradicates it in the last eon shows that He has created it for a purpose, and when it has served that purpose, it goes. The question then is, Why darkness ?

To find an answer to our question we should consult God's Word, not the reasonings of mens' minds on things as they appear.

Darkness appears very early in the pages of Scripture -in the second verse of the first book.

That darkness is the absence of light is shown to those dwelling on the earth by the daily rising and setting of the sun, and this is only relative to the place where it shines. But in this first mention, darkness is not dispersed by the sun (which does not appear till the fourth day) but by divine light. This is confirmed in 2 Cor. 4: 3-6.

Light as we know it is always excluded from God's habitation, and light and darkness have a deeper significance than that provided by the movement of the planets. The apostle John says, "God is light, and darkness in Him there is none" (1 John 1:5).

In the scriptures, light is often used as a symbol of good, and darkness of evil, as in 1 Thess. 5: 4-5, "Now you, brethren, are not in darkness that the day should be overtaking you as a thief, for you are all sons of light and sons of the day. Also as in Col. 1:12,13, "Giving thanks to the Father, Who makes you competent for a part of the allotment of the saints in light, Who rescues us out of the jurisdiction of darkness and transports us into the kingdom of the Son of His love." So we are rescued out of the realm of darkness and transported into the realm of light.

Light and darkness are here used in a figurative sense. Just as light enables us to see physically, so it is used figuratively as a means of seeing spiritual things, while darkness is used to show blindness to things concerned with light.

The jurisdiction of darkness is mentioned twice in the Scriptures (Col. 1:13 and Luke 22:53.) In Luke, Jesus speaks of the authority of darkness in reference to His impending death. For He was the world's Light, and when that Light was extinguished, truly darkness was in authority. While there were three hours of literal darkness as He hung on the cross, there were in fact three days of figurative darkness as He, Who was Light lay in the tomb. Here the Adversary appears to reach his greatest triumph, and among the celestials he stands a victor. Let us not forget that this was truly a time of testing, not only for the Lord's disciples on earth, but also for the faithful among the celestial host. Yet Satan's apparent triumph is really his defeat.

Coming back to Isaiah 45:7, God says, "I am Ieue Alueim (Jehovah Elohim) and there is none else; Former of light and Creator of darkness; Maker of Good and Creator of Evil." (C.V.) In Genesis 1:2, we find the earth blanketed in darkness.

"Remembering that God is light, and that all in harmony with Him is light, we must conclude that the earth in its original creation was all light, and that it became darkness."

We cannot assume that there was darkness before this or the object lesson loses its value. Let us remember too, that the earth in the last eon again becomes all light.

Paul, in Eph. 1:4, refers to this time of darkness as 'the disruption of the world' -a casting down, not only of the earth, but of the whole universe ('world' = Greek KOSMOS = order of things). It is from this time that the jurisdiction of darkness operates, as also it is from this time that the Lamb of God is slain (Rev. 13:8). So that: "from its inception, the end of darkness was determined, and what we observe today is an outcome, or result, of the disruption." Men study the sky and the myriads of stars, and seek an answer out of chaos, for the jurisdiction of darkness operates on a universal scale.

Paul refers to this in Eph. 6:10-13, when he writes, "For the rest, brethren mine, be invigorated in the Lord and in the might of His strength. Put on the panoply of God to enable you to stand up to the stratagems of the Adversary, for it is not ours to wrestle with blood and flesh, but with the sovereignties, with the authorities, with the world-mights of this darkness, with the spiritual forces of wickedness among the celestials."

It was the revolt of these, led by the Adversary, against the Headship of Christ (and therefore, in the final analysis, against the authority of God) that precipitated the coming of darkness into the universe. Whatever forces were the immediate cause of the disruption, it was quite evidently within God's counsel. And in the absolute sense we may say that it was God Who disrupted the universe, since He is operating all in accord with the counsel of His will. The powers against God cannot use His creation for their own ends, but are moved into conditions and circumstances to fulfil His purpose -just as Adam could not use the garden of Eden, but was moved out of the light of God's presence and into the jurisdiction of darkness, and tasted the bitter fruits of an earth under God's curse.

The Scriptures seem to indicate that literal darkness has the same implications for the spiritual forces of wickedness. Peter writes, "For if God spared not sinning messengers, but thrusting them into the gloomy caverns of Tartarus, gives them up to be kept for chastening and judging" (2 Peter 2:4). Jude writes, "Beside, messengers who keep not their own sovereignty, but leave their own habitation, He has kept in imperceptible bonds under gloom, for the judging of the great day" (Jude 6). So that darkness caused by their sin becomes a prison, just as figurative darkness becomes humanity's prison.

Just as we who believe are drawn out of darkness into light, so eventually all will come into light. Meanwhile, all will be taught by darkness about estrangement from God, Who is Light.

This is the lesson of darkness —that while it exists anywhere in the universe, God remains at a distance. That He is near in conciliation affirms this, for conciliation is that which obtains in the new creation, where all is light.

Paul's evangel now brings, to those who have received the conciliation, the joy of being in harmony with God and of feeling the light of His presence. He declares, in 2 Cor. 4:3-5, "Now, if our evangel is covered, also, it is covered in those who are perishing, in whom the god of this eon blinds the apprehensions of the unbelieving, so that the illumination of the evangel of the glory of Christ, Who is the Image of the invisible God, does not irradiate them. For we are not heralding ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, yet ourselves your slaves because of Jesus, for the God Who says that, out of darkness light shall be shining, is He Who shines in our hearts" (which are darkness) "with a view to the illumination of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

[Return to main indexpage]