Light From The Sun’s Creator

Dr. Elliot Johnson came to Waco last month. He was visiting his son and cowboy churches near Waco. He has published a new magazine (Trail Ride) combining western history with the study of God’s Word. This article is from an issue of Trail Ride and is printed with their permission. Dr. Johnson grew up on an 850 acre farm ranch in Central Nebraska. “I liked the cattle drives and playing the part of ‘cowboy’ much better than the farming part.” he says. “Those days in the hayfield were long and hot” Johnson left the plains for college and coaching jobs in several states, eventually becoming one of the most successful baseball coaches in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. His teams have won over 900 games. He has been named Coach of the year nine times, won eleven conference, district, or national championships, and been named to three Halls of Fame. Dr. Johnson has a Doctor of Arts degree in Physical Education and has authored Athletic related devotional books and six baseball videos. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes presented him with the Jerry Kindall Character in Coaching Award. Cattle drovers, white settlers, and adventurers encountered dozens of Native American nations spread across North America in the 1800s. One small but resolute tribe of the southern plains was the Kiowa. The Kiowa may never have numbered more than 2,000 people, but they were valiant and resourceful fighters who lived in present day Colorado, southwestern Kansas, and the Oklahoma/Texas panhandles. Originally enemies of the Commanche, the Kiowa later became their allies. Tribal legend said the Kiowa came into the world one by one by squirming through a hollow log until a very big woman got stuck in the log. No matter how hard she struggled, she couldn’t move and no more Kiowa could enter the world. That’s why there were so few of them! The name Kiowa came from “Kwuda” or “coming out.” The legend is almost as far from fact as the white man’s lie of evolution as the source of human and animal life! Sadly, the Kiowa worshipped the sun instead of the sun’s Creator. The greatest of their many rituals was the midsummer Sun Dance, honoring the sun for providing great horse herds, plentiful bison, fine children, protection, and success in warfare. Central to the ceremony was the “taime” (a two-foot stone sculpture robed in white feathers and ermine pendants), which represented a young woman who climbed a tree to heaven, married the son of the sun, and perished when she fell to earth. The 10-day Sun Dance Ceremony was held in a huge medicine lodge. Various rituals were involved. The Sun Dance priest and four assistants were joined by anyone seeking success. The leader stood at the lodge entrance and stared fixedly at the sun before beginning. The priest prayed to the taime. All desired to fall into a trance and to see visions. They painted their bodies and, facing the taime, danced in place by flex ing the knees up and down to drum beats and female singers. Eagle-bone whistles clenched in their teeth aided the frenzied pace until exhaustion overtook them. On the sixth day, dancers drank a medicinal potion and offered sacrifices (clothing or a horse) to the sun. The Sun Dance ritual revealed the darkness of the Kiowa religion. The last great Kiowa Sun Dance was held in1867. Read John 1:6-14 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. John 1:9 Jesus Christ came to earth to showcase God and His way of life! Right “out of the chute,” John makes sure we cannot miss who Jesus is! He is God’s Word to us! When everything began, “The Word” already was! “Was” is in past tense but it suggests continuous existence. The Word existed eternally! A word is an expression revealing one’s thoughts. A word is a means of communication. Jesus Christ is the expression of God. He showed us what God is like. By dying for us, He showed us how much God loves us! The Word was with God. He was in eternal face to face equality with the Father, while remaining a Person distinct from His Father. The Word was God. Jesus did not become God. He always was God. He didn’t have to learn to be God, or to work His way up into being God. William McDonald writes, “It is not enough to say He is ‘a god,’ that He is godlike, or that He is divine. The Bible teaches that He is God.” Here is a philosophical question: “Why is there something rather than nothing? The answer is: “Because there is God who made everything!” The work of revealing God began with creation (Psalm 19:1-6; Romans1:19-20). Jesus Christ made everything (I Corinthians 8:6; Colossians1:16; Hebrews 1:2). Jesus, the God-Man who created all things, is our Elder Brother who came to dwell with us! Life is only found in Jesus Christ. He created biological life (John 1:3) and He gives spiritual life (John 8:12). Real Christianity, not the façade presented by many Americans today, is Christ. He is life and all life is in Him. The life was the light of men (v. 4). Light provides guidance in a fallen, ignorant world. Jesus revealed God in the darkness and He continues to shine in the darkness. But He was not understood or received by men. Most reject Him today. Yet, the awful spiritual darkness of this world did not and can not overcome Him! The revelation of the Living God and salvation through Christ are superior to ignorance and sin! In the conflict between light and darkness, light cannot lose! When a lighted coal-oil lantern enters a room, darkness must flee! Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. He is also the Truth. The Truth, no matter how much suppressed by sinful man, keeps rising to the surface like a basketball in a swimming pool. He is God and the only Way to get to God (John 14:6). Men and women respond to the claims of Jesus in one of two ways. First, we can believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. A minority believes in Christ with saving faith. Or, we can refuse to believe concerning the Light, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. A hardened heart will result. The majority of men and women remain in unbelief. Which will it be for you? one of two ways. First, we can believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. A minority believes in Christ with saving faith. Or, we can refuse to believe concerning the Light, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. A hardened heart will result. The majority of men and women remain in unbelief. Which will it be for you? Don’t Get Bucked Off How do we know what God is like? Who made everything? (See I Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:16) How does real Christianity differ from the version practiced by many people? Does this world exist in “light” or in “darkness?” Who is Truth? (See John 14:6). Does Jesus claim to be the only Way to get to God and Heaven? To whom does Jesus give light (John 1:9)? How does the majority respond? How does the minority respond?