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jmfcst
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« on: April 26, 2012, 10:50:03 am »
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The Sermon from past Sunday

---

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnDFGiyDLMY

Night is coming.  Jesus said, "I must work the works of him that sent me while it is day. The night cometh when no man can work" (John 9:4). 

Imagine a time so dark that no one could do the works of Christ.

This verse has two meanings.  The first is the obvious one:  a time is coming when laws will be passed which prohibit Christian activity, and which will punish Christian theology for being opposed to the politically correct issues.

The second meaning of the verse offers a little optimism for Christians.  The second is this:  when the night comes, and even Christ could not do the works of the Father, that can only mean that Christ will not be present.  He will be gone.  And if Christ is gone, so will the saints, the believers, be gone. 

You see, as long as there is a believer on this earth, Christ will be here. He is the one who offered us the assurance that He would never leave us, never forsake us.  So if there was just one believer left on earth, Christ would be here with him.

And it is unthinkable that Christ could be overpowered by darkness, or the forces of evil.  Nothing can conquer Christ, no power, no weapon, can subdue Him.  So when the night comes in which no man can work, Christ must not be here.

In fact, if we look at verse 5, it seems to indicate that this is true: "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."  So "night" can't come until the "light" is gone.  And when the light goes, the saints will be going with Him to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

In the meantime, while "night" won't come until He is gone, it is getting darker all the time.  Over the next three weeks I'll pass on some things... I'll just call them: "What To Do Before the Night Comes."

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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2012, 10:54:31 am »
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This verse has two meanings.  The first is the obvious one:  a time is coming when laws will be passed which prohibit Christian activity, and which will punish Christian theology for being opposed to the politically correct issues.

I am so glad the sermons at where I go are not about this type of paranoid nonsense.
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2012, 11:14:17 am »
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This verse has two meanings.  The first is the obvious one:  a time is coming when laws will be passed which prohibit Christian activity, and which will punish Christian theology for being opposed to the politically correct issues.

I am so glad the sermons at where I go are not about this type of paranoid nonsense.

You're so right...I mean, it's not like Jesus himself ever faced persecution.  And I’m sure the Apostles lived out their lives in peace, freely walking around in their hoodies as they bounced from one strip club to another.

But, then what, pray tell, is the meaning of "I must work the works of him that sent me while it is day. The night cometh when no man can work." (John 9:4). 

What exactly is the attribute of this night which prevents men from doing the work of Christ?
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2012, 12:28:14 am »
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A person cannot work during the night because it is dark. That is the obvious meaning. The interpretation is seen in the next verse, which completes the thought: "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."  Jesus had to do the work while he was here. It did not matter that it was the Sabbath, because his time was short.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus says he will leave, but will send another Advocate, the Holy Spirit to remain with them forever. As he says later, "Little children, I am with you only a little while longer."(13:33)
The event alluded to here is not the rapture, but the end of Jesus' life on earth. The context here is not any kind of law, but the healing ministry of the physically present Christ  - the healing he accomplishes through his own body, as seen by his saliva and hands healing the blind man.
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2012, 12:50:34 am »
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Why would Jesus even admit or being capable of being 'gone' in a spiritual sense? The verse interpreted as referring to persecution or to Jesus' bodily death and physical absence after the Ascension is a lot less Christologically problematic.
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2012, 05:12:32 am »
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It is always night, or we wouldn't need light.
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2012, 09:03:26 am »
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A person cannot work during the night because it is dark. That is the obvious meaning. The interpretation is seen in the next verse, which completes the thought: "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."  Jesus had to do the work while he was here. It did not matter that it was the Sabbath, because his time was short.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus says he will leave, but will send another Advocate, the Holy Spirit to remain with them forever. As he says later, "Little children, I am with you only a little while longer."(13:33)
The event alluded to here is not the rapture, but the end of Jesus' life on earth...

1) I’m not interested in starting a Godhead debate, but I hope we can agree that when a believer has the Holy Spirit, he also has the Spirit of Jesus Christ, thus Jesus’ presence is still on earth.

Mat 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

2) If Jesus were simply referring to his death as the reason he would be incapable of working, then why did he say “The night cometh when no one can work" instead of “when I can not work”?
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2012, 09:32:39 am »
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Why would Jesus even admit or being capable of being 'gone' in a spiritual sense? The verse interpreted as referring to persecution or to Jesus' bodily death and physical absence after the Ascension is a lot less Christologically problematic.

Those who do not believe in the removal of the church from the world won't interpret this verse as speaking of a period of time when the Spirit of Christ is not in the world.

In addition, even among those that believe in the Rapture, those who believe in Pre-Trib Rapture (where those that are “Left Behind” still have opportunity to receive Christ) are probably not going to interpret this verse as referring to a period of time where Christ is not in the world.

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But for those of us who believe the church will be Raptured AFTER enduring persecution under the Antichirst, and then after the church is gone there is no salvation available for those who are “Left Behind”…then this verse makes perfect sense – there is going to come a time period (which in this passage calls “the night”) when Christ presence is no longer in the world, therefore no one will be able to do the works of God during “the night” for there will be no one left who has the Spirit of Christ.

This sermon is simply pointing out the current signs within the world which demonstrate that we're witnessing the Great Falling Away of the twilight period before the night comes.

Scripture states there are two main events that will precede the return of Christ:
1)   the Great Falling Away
2)   the rule of the Antichrist

2Thes 2:3”Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 12:43:24 pm by consigliere jmfcst »Logged

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I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
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A band of angels coming after me,
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2012, 12:19:13 am »
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A person cannot work during the night because it is dark. That is the obvious meaning. The interpretation is seen in the next verse, which completes the thought: "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."  Jesus had to do the work while he was here. It did not matter that it was the Sabbath, because his time was short.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus says he will leave, but will send another Advocate, the Holy Spirit to remain with them forever. As he says later, "Little children, I am with you only a little while longer."(13:33)
The event alluded to here is not the rapture, but the end of Jesus' life on earth...

1) I’m not interested in starting a Godhead debate, but I hope we can agree that when a believer has the Holy Spirit, he also has the Spirit of Jesus Christ, thus Jesus’ presence is still on earth.

Mat 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

2) If Jesus were simply referring to his death as the reason he would be incapable of working, then why did he say “The night cometh when no one can work" instead of “when I can not work”?

What does it say at the beginning of the Gospel of John? "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us."  Jesus is not present in the world in the same sense when he has died or has ascended.  That is not to say that Jesus is absent wholly, but the difference between the time Jesus is saying these words and what will come after is clear enough. I think it's important when reading the Gospel of John to take these concepts as presented in the Gospel of John, and not introduce external concepts like the rapture. 
Jesus is using a general statement to say something about his work. During the night, no one can work. This applies to Jesus in that for him, the night is coming soon, and so he must do his work while it is still day -as we all must. 
In this passage, Jesus is going against the Sabbath regulations in healing the blind man. Even though it is the Sabbath it is day. And so a law against something is not going to make it night.
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2012, 10:34:54 am »
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What does it say at the beginning of the Gospel of John? "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us."  Jesus is not present in the world in the same sense when he has died or has ascended.  That is not to say that Jesus is absent wholly, but the difference between the time Jesus is saying these words and what will come after is clear enough. I think it's important when reading the Gospel of John to take these concepts as presented in the Gospel of John, and not introduce external concepts like the rapture. 
Jesus is using a general statement to say something about his work. During the night, no one can work. This applies to Jesus in that for him, the night is coming soon, and so he must do his work while it is still day -as we all must. 
In this passage, Jesus is going against the Sabbath regulations in healing the blind man. Even though it is the Sabbath it is day. And so a law against something is not going to make it night.

granted...but

1) to say you can't use the rest of scripture to interpret John is way off base and is contrary to way Jesus and Apostles used scripture, for they commonly bounced one book off of another to allow scripture to interpret itself,

2) the Gospel of John is filled with references of Jesus’ presence being in the world after his death in the form of the Spirit, like: ”I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” (John 14:16)

3) the language of John 9:4 is telling in itself:

John 9:4 “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”

“the”day is singular, not plural.  And within this [singular] day, both Christ and his followers will be able to work.  But, there will come a [singular] night when the works of Christ will no longer be workable by his followers.

He did NOT say, “in my day” or “in their day”, rather the singular day spans both Jesus and his followers, and the singular night puts an end to the activity of all of Jesus’ followers.

4) most of all, if Jesus were simply saying death would stop each of his followers from doing the works the Christ, while others follow to continue the works of Christ…Jesus would be donning the mantle of Captain Obvious.  There is no purpose in stating the obvious.  And it was Jesus’ habit to state things that were profound, which is the opposite of obvious.  Also, it is out of character for the gospel of John, which itself, from beginning to end, is filled with profound statements that play on words.

Also, by using the analogy of day and night, and work ceasing due to the night…that is NOT an analogy to death, for those whose work ceases due to night are NOT dead, rather the night itself prevents them from continue to work.

Example:  If you were working a field, the night stops you from working, but you yourself are still alive.


---

But, I must apologize; I didn’t realize (though I should have) that the verse itself would be controversial due to different end time beliefs. 


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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2012, 10:53:30 am »
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according to LDS (using the term broadly) theology, such a night already occurred:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Apostasy
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2012, 01:18:07 pm »
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according to LDS (using the term broadly) theology, such a night already occurred:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Apostasy

yeah, I know, to them the night started not too long after Christ's Ascension, and ended with the revelation of Joseph Smith, whom they claimed restored the true gospel.

Never mind the fact that stating God was without a remnant for a time, much less 1700 years, is contrary to scripture:

Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is living and active."

Eph 3:21 "To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!"

---

Of course, the book of Mormon has the Christian Church and Christians on the scene decades BEFORE Christ was even born. (church began in 147BC, Mosiah 18:17...Alma 46:13-16 supposedly written in 73BC refers to Nephites as Christians)
)

Mosiah 18:17 "And they were called the church of God, or the church of Christ, from that time forward. And it came to pass that whosoever was baptized by the power and authority of God was added to his church."

Alma 46:13-16  "And he fastened on his head-plate, and his abreastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the btitle of liberty) and he cbowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of dChristians remain to possess the land— 14 For thus were all the true believers of Christ, who belonged to the church of God, called by those who did not belong to the church.  15 And those who did belong to the church were afaithful; yea, all those who were true believers in Christ btook upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians as they were called, because of their belief in Christ who should come.  16 And therefore, at this time, Moroni prayed that the cause of the Christians, and the afreedom of the land might be favored."

But, of course, the NT states believers were first called Christians in Antioch:

Acts 11:26 "The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch."
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2012, 03:52:21 pm »
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analogy: similarity between two things in some aspect which are in other aspects dissimilar.  The analogy is between the presence of light and the physical presence of Christ.

If you want to say that the work of Jesus must come to a stop because it will be against the law, that isn't supported by this text, since the law clearly isn't stopping Jesus.
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2012, 04:06:10 pm »
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analogy: similarity between two things in some aspect which are in other aspects dissimilar.  The analogy is between the presence of light and the physical presence of Christ.

If you want to say that the work of Jesus must come to a stop because it will be against the law, that isn't supported by this text, since the law clearly isn't stopping Jesus.

no, I am not saying the works of Jesus stop because of laws, rather I am saying anti-Christian laws are a sign that the night is near...the night itself will when the world becomes too deceitful to win converts and will be followed by the absence of Christians (and thus the Spirit of Jesus) from the world.

But, aside from all this argumentative stuff, I think I have a pretty strong point in that if Jesus were simply referring to death as the night that stops men works and is simply saying:

 “I must work the works of him that sent me, while I am alive: death cometh, when no man can work.”

..than that is a pretty Captain Obvious type of statement, which would be very uncharacteristic of Jesus.

Can you give me an example of Jesus making another captain obvious statement?
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I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
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« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2012, 04:38:54 pm »
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Well, the statement about no man being able to work in the night was pretty obvious prior to Thomas Edison, though it's meaning isn't because it points to his death and the reason for his healing on the Sabbath.

Compare Jn 12:34
Quote
The crowd answered him, "We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?" Jesus said to them, "The light is with you a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of the light."
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« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2012, 03:15:21 pm »
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Well, the statement about no man being able to work in the night was pretty obvious prior to Thomas Edison, though it's meaning isn't because it points to his death and the reason for his healing on the Sabbath.

Compare Jn 12:34
Quote
The crowd answered him, "We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?" Jesus said to them, "The light is with you a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of the light."

But your reference to John 12:34 actually proves my point – Jesus himself is the light, and the presence of that light constitutes “the day” referred to John 9:4.

But, since you're interpretting this passage by using only the Gospel of John...

What does it say at the beginning of the Gospel of John?... I think it's important when reading the Gospel of John to take these concepts as presented in the Gospel of John, and not introduce external concepts...

…let’s see what preceded John 9:4:

John 1:8 “John [the Baptist] was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.”

Point 1) So, according to John 1:8 and John 12:34, Jesus himself is the light.

---

But, was that light available in the world after Jesus’ ascension, or did the light go out when he died?  Jesus says himself in John 3:16, which I hope you agree applies also to us in our time:

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.


Point 2) so, according to John 3:16-20, which preceded John 9:4, obviously, this "light" is not the life of Christ in the physical body of Jesus Christ, rather it is the spiritual presence of Christ in the world.

---

Point 3) Even the first epistle of John says the same – believers, even believers post-ascension, live in the light of Christ:

1John 1:5 "God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin."

So, going back to John 9:4”I must work the works of him that sent me while it is day. The night cometh when no man can work"

“The light” is present during “the day”, and “the light” is GONE during “the night”.


---

Conclusion)

As long was it is possible to work in “the light”, it is still “the day”, but once “the light” is gone, "the day" will end and "the night” will be here and no one will be able to do the work of God.

Jesus is making a profound statement, he is NOT making a trivial statement about the death of someone stopping them from working.  Such a trivial statement would be met with a huge “DUH!”
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I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
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« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2012, 01:20:05 pm »
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It's clear from John 12:34 that the idea that the Messiah would die is not a trivial or obvious statement.
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« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2012, 02:10:41 pm »
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It's clear from John 12:34 that the idea that the Messiah would die is not a trivial or obvious statement.

you know that is NOT what I was talking about, rather I talking about the others Jesus referred to:

John 9:4”I must work the works of him that sent me while it is day. The night cometh when no man can work"

that would be a trivial statement (totally unlike Jesus’ comments which are profound) if it only refers to people not being able to work because they die.

But, even from the Gospel of John, the following is already given:

1)   Jesus is “the light”
2)   “the day” is defined as the presence of “the light”
3)   Today’s Christians, who live nearly 2 thousand years after the death of Christ, walk “in the light” and are considered children of “the day”
4)   The removal of “the light”  ends “the day” and begins “the night”
5)   “the light” is absent during “the night”

This is engrained throughout the NT:

2 Cor4:6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

Eph 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, O sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

1 Thes 5:5 "You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness."

This is not rocket science. In fact, it is a SLAM DUNK, and I am really really surprised so many bible commentaries misinterpret John 9:4.   But, clearly, the reason the meaning of “the night cometh” in John 9:4 is missed upon many Christians is that their denominations’ doctrine does not believe in a period when Christians will be gone from the earth.
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« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2012, 10:50:19 pm »
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We can at least agree at this point that the night mentioned here has nothing to do with Christianity being outlawed, right?

Jmfsct how would you interpret Jn 13:33?
"Little children I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and as I said to the Jews so I now say to you 'Where I am going you cannot come."
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« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2012, 01:08:38 pm »
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We can at least agree at this point that the night mentioned here has nothing to do with Christianity being outlawed, right?

Well, the worldwide banning of Christianity will, at least, precede the night.

I am glad you can perceive I’m not completely on board with simply defining the night as the outlawing of Christianity.  And I admit that my pastor seems to be saying that the outright outlawing of Christianity will be at least part of the night. [Late Edit:  Sorry, I was confused.  Sermon very clearly states the laws do NOT begin the night, but only Christ's departure marks the beginning of "the night"]

This is where I currently am:
1)   I am convinced “the night” in John 9:4 is NOT a synonym for death.  (though I still have an open mind)
2) I am going to look into when “the night” begins – not being convinced it begins when Christianity is outlawed. [Late Edit: see above]

But, for the time being, let’s focus on determining whether “the night” in John 9:4 refers to death.


---

Jmfsct how would you interpret Jn 13:33?
"Little children I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and as I said to the Jews so I now say to you 'Where I am going you cannot come."

He is obviously referring to his death separating himself from his disciples.  But, just as obvious, in the very next chapter (John ch 14), he is not saying he is going away for long, but will come back to them shortly in the form of the Holy Spirit.

John 14:16  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”

---

We both understand each other’s point of view, so let me ask you this…if “the night” is NOT an synonym for death, but is rather a synonym for the absence of the presence of Christ, would that make John 9:4 an illogical statement?

In other words, if Jesus were saying,  “I must work the works of him (God) that sent me while it is day (while the light of God, that has been made manifest in my coming to Earth, is still shining). The night cometh (a time is coming when the light of God, and therefore my presence, will not shine among men) when no man can work (the works of God)"

If he were saying that, would that seem like a logical sentence to you?  I am asking this because I want to make sure we are only arguing the definition of “the night”, not that you are saying my interpretation of the “the night” would make John 9:4 unintelligible.

In other words, can you see that it is possible that "the night” in John 9:4 is not death, or do you dismiss it outright?

---

As far as interpreting whether “the night” refers to a) death , or as b) absence of God’s revelation…consider the following passage:

2 Cor4:3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

Now, I hope you agree that in the part I bolded, Paul is referring to Gen 1:3

Gen 1:3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.  5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning —the first day.
 
So, my interpretation of the definition of the day and night of John 9:4 is not only consistent with the engrained NT concept that Christians as the “sons of the light” and “sons of the day”, but that definition goes all the way back to Gen 1:3-4.

---

Also, do you agree that "the day" in John 9:4 refers to Jesus' presence?  If so, why wouldn't "the night" in John 9:4 be the flipside of “the day” by referring to the removal of Jesus' presence, and not death that will overtake all men?

Which is more consistent with contrasting “the day” from “the night”

a) “day” = the light of the presence of Christ, and “the night” = the absence of the presence of Christ

or

b) “day” = the light of the presence of Christ, and “the night” = death that is coming to every man

I would think that Option A was much more consistent.
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« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2012, 01:11:12 pm »
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Why in the world would outlawing Christianity begin 'the night'? Is it 'night' in this sense in countries where Christianity is proscribed currently? If so, what's the status of Christians in these countries?
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« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2012, 01:59:17 pm »
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Why in the world would outlawing Christianity begin 'the night'? Is it 'night' in this sense in countries where Christianity is proscribed currently? If so, what's the status of Christians in these countries?

Let's define what "the night" is before defining when it begins. 
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Coming for to carry me home.

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« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2012, 04:02:03 pm »
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Why in the world would outlawing Christianity begin 'the night'? Is it 'night' in this sense in countries where Christianity is proscribed currently? If so, what's the status of Christians in these countries?

having gone back and read the summary of the sermon, it is clearly giving an interpretation that what is going on in other countries is simply a sign "it is getting darker"

quote from summary:
Quote
In the meantime, while "night" won't come until He is gone, it is getting darker all the time.

I can fully agree with the statement "the night won't come until Christ is gone".  As you can tell from the last couple of posts, I was distancing myself from the notion the night comes when Christianity is outlawed:

We can at least agree at this point that the night mentioned here has nothing to do with Christianity being outlawed, right?

Well, the worldwide banning of Christianity will, at least, precede the night.

I am glad you can perceive I’m not completely on board with simply defining the night as the outlawing of Christianity.  And I admit that my pastor seems to be saying that the outright outlawing of Christianity will be at least part of the night.

This is where I currently am:
1)   I am convinced “the night” in John 9:4 is NOT a synonym for death.  (though I still have an open mind)
2)   I am going to look into when “the night” begins – not being convinced it begins when Christianity is outlawed.
But, for the time being, let’s focus on determining whether “the night” in John 9:4 refers to death.

...but now there is no reason to distance myself from that notion because that is NOT what my pastor is saying.  Sorry for the confusion, looks like I (and perhaps Shua) got confused on what the sermon was actually saying in regards to the laws and whether or not they were part of the night.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 04:08:43 pm by consigliere jmfcst »Logged

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« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2012, 02:54:06 am »
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Quote
Jmfsct how would you interpret Jn 13:33?
"Little children I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and as I said to the Jews so I now say to you 'Where I am going you cannot come."

He is obviously referring to his death separating himself from his disciples.  But, just as obvious, in the very next chapter (John ch 14), he is not saying he is going away for long, but will come back to them shortly in the form of the Holy Spirit.
Yes, that is my understanding as well. I believe John 9:4 is referring to the same event, and that his return after his absence is revealed only gradually.


Quote
We both understand each other’s point of view, so let me ask you this…if “the night” is NOT an synonym for death, but is rather a synonym for the absence of the presence of Christ, would that make John 9:4 an illogical statement?

In other words, if Jesus were saying,  “I must work the works of him (God) that sent me while it is day (while the light of God, that has been made manifest in my coming to Earth, is still shining). The night cometh (a time is coming when the light of God, and therefore my presence, will not shine among men) when no man can work (the works of God)"

If he were saying that, would that seem like a logical sentence to you?  I am asking this because I want to make sure we are only arguing the definition of “the night”, not that you are saying my interpretation of the “the night” would make John 9:4 unintelligible.

In other words, can you see that it is possible that "the night” in John 9:4 is not death, or do you dismiss it outright?

I don't think the verse itself is illogical in that interpretation. 
I just think that by looking at the Gospel of John as a whole, it makes the most sense as referring to his death or his physical absence.
The coming end of Jesus' life on earth is hinted to in John 12:8 "You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me." Then in Jn 12:32-36, Jesus talks about the Son of Man being lifted up (in crucifixion), and says he is the light who "will be with you a little while longer." 
The death of Christ is central to the narrative. The Gospel is true but it is also literature, and it builds up to a denouement.

Quote
Also, do you agree that "the day" in John 9:4 refers to Jesus' presence?  If so, why wouldn't "the night" in John 9:4 be the flipside of “the day” by referring to the removal of Jesus' presence, and not death that will overtake all men?

Which is more consistent with contrasting “the day” from “the night”

a) “day” = the light of the presence of Christ, and “the night” = the absence of the presence of Christ

or

b) “day” = the light of the presence of Christ, and “the night” = death that is coming to every man

I would think that Option A was much more consistent.

Yes, you make a good point here, and are making me rethink this slightly.
I think it has both these meanings at once, since Jesus is expressing the day as the time he has to be present in the world and at work, and the night as his death (common to everyone) and removal.  This is a tricky passage for sure.  What makes it especially tricky is that in some versions the subject is "I" and in others it is "we." But there's a sense of urgency here that leads me to believe it refers to something close at hand.

Here's how I read it within the larger context of John:   Jesus is alive, and it is day, and he must do the work he was sent for.   Jesus leaves in his death, and it is night.  But then it is revealed that the  night is not permanent.   Jesus returns, and he commissions his disciples to continue his work.
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« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2012, 10:23:59 am »
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This is long, but please read it through once before dissecting it:

This is a tricky passage for sure.  What makes it especially tricky is that in some versions the subject is "I" and in others it is "we." But there's a sense of urgency here that leads me to believe it refers to something close at hand.

Ok, but even if we use the pronoun “we”…

John 9:4 ”We must work the works of him that sent me while it is day. The night cometh when no man can work.  5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

…”the day” is still the presence of Christ, and thus “the night” is the removal of his presence.

So, “the night” is clearly NOT referring to the individual deaths of his followers, but rather the presence of Christ leaving the world…so the question you and I are hashing out is:

What period time is being referred to when Christ’s presence is departed from the world?


---

Here's how I read it within the larger context of John:   Jesus is alive, and it is day, and he must do the work he was sent for.   Jesus leaves in his death, and it is night.  But then it is revealed that the  night is not permanent.   Jesus returns, and he commissions his disciples to continue his work.

Then that would mean the whole statement about “The night cometh when no man can work” only refers to the 3 days he was in the tomb?!

Concerning the light required of men to work the works of God, which the night will put an end to…I think you and I would agree “the light” that is required to do that work is the Holy Spirit which will indwell his believers,

Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

---

But there's a sense of urgency here that leads me to believe it refers to something close at hand.

I agree that there is a sense of urgency…But I see that urgency as common throughout the NT, even well into the Church age:

2Cor 6 As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says, “[quote Isa 49:8] In the time of my favor I heard you,  and in the day of salvation I helped you.”  I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

Saving ourselves and others is URGENT work…and what John 9:4 is saying is that the opportunity within the day of salvation is NOT unceasing, rather there will come the night that will end the day of salvation, when the presence of Christ is no longer available, and thus a time when no one can be saved.

In fact, John 9:4 is urgent because includes this ominous warning about the coming night:

John 9:4 ”I (we) must work the works of him that sent me while it is day. The night cometh when no man can work.” 

---

BUT…that’s not all.  Let’s look at it from another angle and instead of defining the night, lets see how Jesus defines “the works of God” in the context of the Gospel of John:

John 6: 28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

So, whatever “the night” is, it will be a time “no one will be able to believe in Christ"….so Jesus was basically saying:

“The night will come when the presence of Christ will not be in the world, and no one will be able to believe in him.  But, as long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

That's heavy duty.
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Do not fight with one another over my banning.  I've enjoyed the time I have spent with all of you, but the time really has come for me to leave.  It is what I want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Y_GLT4_9I

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
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