Author Topic: Lesser Light What does it mean  (Read 41565 times)

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Richard Myers

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Re: Lesser Light What does it mean
« Reply #60 on: July 22, 2009, 10:23:28 PM »
T James, dear brother, sorry to have missed your post last month. I was blessed as I read it tonight. Many will be blessed in the future as they also read your testimony of how God is working with the youth and through you!!  Continue to share. Our people need the encouragement!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

ranger

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The church is to be strengthened, the world is to be warned. Jesus is coming soon!

Ed Sutton

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Re: Lesser Light What does it mean
« Reply #62 on: January 08, 2011, 05:22:46 PM »
Using Scripture's usage as a definition.

Genesis 1:16  And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

The lesser light is simply a small light source that while providing illumination does not provide so much light as to turn night into day, otherwise it would be the primary light and not the reflected smaller light being feed by the primary light source.

When it comes to inspiration and God talking to humanity.  Jesus is the only light until sealed humans are spoken to directly by Father God, hearing the day and the hour after all human probation has closed .      SOP is Jesus testifying, this occured after 1798 AD the Biblical time of the end when gross darkness covers the Earth spiritually, and even most protestantism that professes great light is satisfied with carnally minded darkness.  To use the lesser light phrase to denote a difference between EGW's inspiration level, calling and work than Jeremiah, Isaiah, Moses.............. changes the tone of the phrase from lesser or smaller light source .....like as the moon is smaller & dimmer than the sun...........into the phrase ...."inferior light"  as is that EGW is in their eyes and their supposed Biblical standing ......inferior in inspiration, calling, responsibility, work ........that other prophets.    When in fact ................
Quote
   Why have I not claimed to be a prophet?--Because in these days many who boldly claim that they are prophets are a reproach to the cause of Christ; and because my work includes much more than the word "prophet" signifies.  {1SM 32.4}  


Moses work to lead and prepare a sealed people to enter the promised land.

John the Baptist work to lead and prepare a people to receive Jesus Christ .

EGW work to lead and prepare a people to be acquited by the Investigative Judgement and obtain Christ's worthiness to stand before Him in peace at the Second Coming. (sealed )
Grateful for Psalms 32 and Titus 2:10 - The divinity of Christ is acknowledged in the unity of the children of God.  {11MR 266.2}

John W

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Re: Lesser Light What does it mean
« Reply #63 on: June 07, 2016, 07:01:23 AM »
Little heed is given to the Bible, and the Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light.--The Review and Herald, Jan. 20, 1903. (Quoted in Colporteur Ministry, p. 125.)  3SM, p. 30

It has always been true that little heed has been given to the Bible by the majority of the world’s population.  The Old Testament had been around for some time by the time Jesus came to this earth and lived His life. When Matthew wrote his book, was it not for the purpose of leading men and women to the greater light, Jesus?  Can you imagine him saying that little heed has been given to Isaiah and Psalms and the rest of the Old Testament so the Lord has given to the world in the book I have just written a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light, the Old Testament?  That would not make much sense. What God inspired Matthew to write magnified and made more distinct what was in the Old Testament.  The purpose of inspired writings has always been to lead people to Jesus, the greater light.

Would Paul say about his letters that they were a lesser light, a dimmer understanding of the way of salvation as compared to the Old Testament – the scriptures of his day? The primary purpose of his letters was to lead men and women to a saving relationship with Jesus, the greater light. An effect of his writings no doubt led men and women to have a renewed interest in the scriptures. But he would have never said that the primary purpose of my writings is to lead men and women to the greater light, the Old Testament. He would not have told his readers that what he was writing to them was a lesser light as compared to what Amos or Malachi wrote.

No prophet of God has ever said that the work God has given them to do was in any sense lesser than what God has given prophets to do in the past.  John the Revelator would not say that the book I just wrote, the Book of Revelation is lesser than the Book of Daniel even though Daniel was part of the sacred cannon of Scripture at the time John wrote his book.   

How should we understand what Ellen White said regarding her writings leading men and women to the greater light? When interpreting inspired writings, it is always wise to examine the immediate context and the wider context of all that that writer has written on the issue in question. If we were to take Mark 9:43, 44 and look at just this text without considering wider context we could come to the wrong conclusion that man will burn eternally in hell. The same with our sentence in question. If this sentence was all we had to go on then the logical conclusion would be that EGW writings, the lesser light was given to lead people to the greater light which in this sentence is the Bible. If we only had this sentence to conclude its meaning we would look at the meaning and synonyms of the word lesser which include: lower in quality, lower in esteem, not as great in amount or degree, less important, less significant; and for the meaning of the word greater we have: better, superior, larger, bigger. In comparing Ellen Whites writings to Jesus, these words make sense. But in comparing one prophet’s writings to the writings of other prophets, this does not make good sense. In the case of the sentence under question, the context does indeed provide the key to its understanding.  The paragraph before this questionable sentence says:

“Sister White is not the originator of these books. They contain the instruction that during her life-work God has been giving her. They contain the precious, comforting light that God has graciously given his servant to be given to the world. From their pages this light is to shine into the hearts of men and women, leading them to the Saviour. The Lord has declared that these books are to be scattered throughout the world. There is in them truth which to the receiver is a savor of life unto life. They are silent witnesses for God. In the past they have been the means in his hands of convicting and converting many souls. Many have read them with eager expectation, and, by reading them, have been led to see the efficacy of Christ's atonement, and to trust in its power. They have been led to commit the keeping of their souls to their Creator, waiting and hoping for the coming of the Saviour to take his loved ones to their eternal home. In the future, these books are to make the gospel plain to many others, revealing to them the way of salvation. 

And then follows the sentence: “The Lord has sent his people much instruction, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little. Little heed is given to the Bible, and the Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light. O, how much good would be accomplished if the books containing this light were read with a determination to carry out the principles they contain! There would be a thousandfold greater vigilance, a thousandfold more self-denial and resolute effort. And many more would now be rejoicing in the light of present truth.”

Ellen White was urging us to sell these books that God inspired her and instructed her to write. She is saying over and over again that these books will lead men and women to Jesus. In the sentence under question she is using a simile to repeat what she has been saying over and over again in this article. What does this simile mean? Where has she used this phrase lesser light and greater light in her past writings? That could give us a clue as to the meaning of this sentence. We find it in her book the Desire of Ages:

“He (John the Baptist) was the lesser light, which was to be followed by a greater. The mind of John was illuminated by the Holy Spirit, that he might shed light upon his people; but no other light ever has shone or ever will shine so clearly upon fallen man as that which emanated from the teaching and example of Jesus.” {DA 220.2}

“Christ makes no apology when He declares, "I am the light of the world." He was, in life and teaching, the gospel, the foundation of all pure doctrine. Just as the sun compares with the lesser lights in the heavens, so did Christ, the Source of light, compare with the teachers of His day. He was before them all, and shining with the brightness of the sun, He diffused His penetrating, gladdening rays throughout the world. . . .” TMK 97

Ellen White is not saying that her book “Desire of Ages” was a lesser light as compared to what Matthew wrote. In fact “Desire of Ages” could be seen as a magnification of what Matthew wrote. If we were to speak of brightness in comparing inspired writings with inspired writings we might say that Matthew’s writings were a bit brighter than Isaiah’s writings and Ellen White’s writings magnifies and makes brighter the story of Jesus even more. But to say that inspired writings that follow after other inspired writings are dimmer than what came before is not a rational thought.

It is much more rational to say that the work of Ellen White is the same as that of all God’s messengers – to lead men and women to the greater light, Jesus Christ.  And because people are not reading their Bibles that would lead them to the greater light God wants us to get her books into the hands of the public so they can be lead to the greater light. To make Ellen White say that her work is lesser than the work of other writers of inspired writings that are found in the Bible has influenced many of our members to set her writings aside as an inferior work of God. It has given them an excuse to ignore these writings. Just because the writings of a prophet must be tested by what has come before does not make them lesser. Paul’s writings had to be tested by Isaiah’s writings but that did not make them lesser in any degree. All the writings of all the prophets have all been lesser lights leading to the greater light, the Son of God.

Richard Myers

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Re: Lesser Light What does it mean
« Reply #64 on: June 07, 2016, 09:57:11 AM »
Welcome to our fellowship, John!  Thank you for this very well written statement of truth. Communications is hard at the best of times. There is safety in a multitude of counselors who love God and keep His commandments. There is always more truth to what we know. By God's grace when we get to heaven we shall continue discovering truth....and it will continue for eternity. This ought to humble all who seek to give honor and glory to God as we share the truth that we know to be truth. There is always more to learn about what we already know.

There is a similar truth to what you have shared about the Spirit of Prophecy.  It involves the teaching of Paul and the covenants. Paul never disparaged the ten commandments, nor did he ever lessen our obligation to keep God's moral laws. But, he made this very truthful statement which appears to many that it lessened the importance of the ten commandments. If those who have read your post can take time to consider why Paul said what he said about the law, it will prove to be a great blessing.

While his statement is another whole topic which we have touched on in other topics, I want to add it to our discussion here because I find the underlying principle to be very similar to what you have just shared.

Here is the statement found in the Book of 2 Corinthians, chapter 3, verse 6.     "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life." Paul is here speaking of the ten commandments. He appears to be saying he is not teaching according to the Word of God, but according to the Spirit. We see this being done in the wrong manner today in the church where there are some saying they are following the Spirit, when they are going contrary to what is written. Paul was not saying this, his ministry was in harmony with the Bible. But, as with the depreciation of the Spirit of Prophecy, so it is with the written Word and the ten commandments based upon the verse from 2 Corinthians.

Paul is indeed contrasting the Word of God as written with the Spirit of the Living God. But, it does not lessen the importance of the law, nor does it remove any obligation to walk in that law.

John, can you see a parallel principle involved?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

colporteur

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Re: Lesser Light What does it mean
« Reply #65 on: June 07, 2016, 11:55:09 AM »
John W;

I agree with your view on the SOP. I first learned this years ago from Lawrence Nelson's study on this. It never made sense to me from the beginning how this statement is presented by most in the church.

Imagine, for instance, if someone said about Ellen White just before she gave birth to Willie, "She is less pregnant than was Elizabeth when the babe leaped in her womb." Either one is a true prophet or they are a false prophet. Either a woman is pregnant or she is not. Either her work is the testimony of Jesus or it is the work of the devil. There is no fence that can be ridden on this. As you say, it makes no sense.

And then the fact that she said that she did not call herself a prophet is misused. She not only stated why she did not call herself such, but she also went on to say that her work was more than that of a prophet. The only people that cannot see the truth in this are those who do not want to see the truth.

Imagine the president writes a note and sends it to you. A few years later he writes another note and sends it. However, the people say that the second note does mean as much as the first; that somehow it is an inferior message. If it was written by the same hand of the same person it equates the same. All other aspects being the same, time changes nothing.

Imagine the work of a prophet at the pinnacle of the world's greatest crisis in the history of humanity; a prophet who has penned more than all others combined; saying that this work is less valuable, less authoritative, less anything.
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

John W

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Re: Lesser Light What does it mean
« Reply #66 on: June 07, 2016, 07:55:13 PM »
Richard, Yes I can see what you are saying. Here is a thought very close to what you are saying that I wrote in the article, None Dare Call it Rebellion:

        In the new spirituality that is sweeping Christendom the idea is prominent that the Holy Spirit today is guiding people through impressions and feelings. Many Protestant denominations are now ordaining women elders because they believe the Spirit is leading the church to do this. They do not derive their authority to do what they are doing from the Word of God.
   Sunday keeping has the same basis of support. They just know that God would be pleased for them to honor the resurrection of Jesus by the keeping of the first day of the week. Where is the 'Thus saith the Lord' for this practice? There is none.
   When they ask us for chapter and verse where God specifically authorizes His church to invest women with full ecclesiastical authority what then will we say? The ordaining of women elders in the Seventh-day Adventist Church weakens our position that we base our teachings and practice on the Word of God.
   It interposes yet another barrier in reaching the 1.2 billion Roman Catholics who do not believe the Bible authorizes women to be invested with ecclesiastical authority.
   It erects one more obstacle in reaching the 1.7 billion Muslims who believe that women should not be vested with ecclesiastical authority.
   The Holy Spirit is not leading our church to depart from the practice and teaching of the Bible as stated in that open letter to Elder Ted Wilson. In this letter a retired seminary professor states:
In our day the Holy Spirit is leading our Church to take advanced steps as He did at the Council of Acts 15. . . . The Holy Spirit is now saying to the Adventist Church in North America, Europe and Australia to stop dilly-dallying and proceed to ordain the called, trained, effective women pastors and stop this unchristian
discrimination . . . .The Western Churches that are ready to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading will show the way to the other countries’ Churches; they will not split the Church--but if you try to stop what the Holy Spirit is leading to be accomplished, you will split the Church!
   This professor believes the Holy Spirit is teaching the Western churches new light because a large contingent of its members wants to allow women to exercise ecclesiastical authority. We are people of the Book. We don’t develop doctrine in response to cultural pressures or majority consensus. That is how Sunday keeping came about.

Ed Sutton

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Re: Lesser Light What does it mean
« Reply #67 on: June 07, 2016, 10:03:08 PM »
Where did we get the phrase "lesser light" in the first place ?

Genesis 1:16  And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

It is God who made the lights, Earth's night is settling darker and darker, the light God made to rule the light, that lesser light; more and more is under attack.

It is God who committed all judgment and authority to Jesus, to be commander in chief ( archangel) of Heaven's forces, and Jesus obtains directorship to send the Holy Ghost to represent Himself, messengers are recruited by Jesus and spoken to by the Holy Ghost.   

The Lesser light is the light of Jesus, shining in Earth's night time, ruling God's denominated human infrastructure at that time, communicating with such specific voice, that no room for argument is given, stabilizing the handling of the Bible by the loyal of that human infrastructure, that actually do keep the commandments of God and the Faith of Jesus, and unto them God has reestablished the gift of prophecy ( Jesus's testifying in their midst ), and this testifying is not a dimmer light, it is actually the night vision function foretold to join the shining of the Bible in this dark hour.

Hebrews 1:
1  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

This same Son and heir of the Most High, also said : ( to Jeremiah 35:13-15 )

13  Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; ..... Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD.
14  .......notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me.
15  I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets,........

Jesus called William E Foy, Hazan Foss, Ellen G White, and EGW stayed true to her calling till released by her death.

All big maps cover broad details and leave un-shown the small details whenever necessary, but the time comes that fine details need to be explicitly shown, covered, explained, so that both the tares ( children who delight to disobey ) and the wheat ( children who delight to obey ) can be ripened as the season is closing, as the time of harvest drawn neigh the ripening processes are speeded up. 

The Bible is the big map and the SOP ( Spirit of Prophecy ) is the detailed map.  Both come to us from the testifying Mediator in Heaven.

The responses in regard to SOP are testimonies in Heaven's record books of how each professed SDA would actually treat Jesus, because how they view and treat Christ testifying, is how they actually treat Him, all judgment is committed into the hands of Christ. 
Grateful for Psalms 32 and Titus 2:10 - The divinity of Christ is acknowledged in the unity of the children of God.  {11MR 266.2}

colporteur

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Re: Lesser Light What does it mean
« Reply #68 on: June 08, 2016, 05:51:42 AM »

I view the SOP as manifested through the work of EGW as an amplifier. Imagine a science teacher showing the wing of a butterfly to the class. Then the teacher places the wing under a microscope to bring out detail. Would one say that this was a lesser picture and therefore lesser light ? In a sense it is more light. Not extra light, but more detail of the same picture; detail that was there but not generally seen do to dynamics that tend to block the clarity.
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.