THE AGENDA OF THE LIGHT JONATHAN CAHN - U.N. SPEECH – MARCH 2, 2016
Two thousand years ago in the land of Judea on the hills of Galilee, the Jewish rabbi named Yeshua, and known in the world as Jesus, said to His followers, “Mt 5:14 You Are The Light Of The World. 15A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor do men light a lamp and place it under a bowl. But, they set it on a lampstand and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 So let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.”
Those who call themselves by His Name, the disciples of Messiah – bear this charge – they must be the light of the world. Light is an active agent - it doesn’t conform to its surroundings, but transforms them. Thus the light of the world must impact and transform the world around it.
If we are the light of the world, then we have gathered here to follow but one agenda, the agenda of the One who called us into being. Thus our agenda must be the Agenda of the Light. And what is that Agenda? It is to manifest the love of God and to fulfill His purposes on the earth. How?
It is written that “Mt 25:31 when Messiah comes... 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another as a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats… 34 Then He will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I wasnaked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’”
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take Youin, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And He ((the King)) will answer and say to them, ‘Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”
The Agenda of the Light is to shine into the darkness of need. If we are the light of the world, then we must minister to the needy of this world – we must give food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, refuge to the stranger, clothing to the naked, healing to the sick, and compassion to the prisoner.
If we see the hungry and do not give them food, then according to the Scripture, we are choosing to let God go hungry. If we see the naked and do not clothe them, then we are choosing to let God go naked. And if we see the sick and let them perish, then we are letting God Himself perish.
The light must shine into the darkness of man’s need and do everything in its power to fulfill that need, even to the giving of itself – as He who is the Light of the World gave of Himself.
What is the Agenda of the Light? It is to stand against the darkness. So we must speak the truth at all times, regardless of what is popular, regardless of what is fashionable, regardless of what is politically correct, regardless of political or cultural pressure, regardless of the opinion of the day, and regardless of the cost.
We have convened in the gathering place of the world’s nations. And we take note that nations and powers rise and fall. In the days when the Empire of Assyria towered over the world’s nations, the Word of God came through the prophet Isaiah saying: ‘They shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks.’ Is 2:4 Two and a half thousand years later, the Assyrian Empire is buried in the sands of the Middle East, but the Word given to Isaiah is inscribed here on the walls of the United Nations.
And those words are a sign to us that all things of this world pass away, but the Word of God endures forever, and thus we must never place our trust or stand on foundations that will crumble to dust. We must never follow the shifting opinions of man, but the eternal Word of God. We do not change the truth to conform to the world, we conform to the truth and change the world. And the very fact that the prophecy of swords and ploughshares inscribed in this place comes from the Word of God, tells us they cannot be fulfilled except through the Answer found in that same Word of God.
We must do all that we can to be a part of the answer, but we must also affirm that the answer does not come from man, but from Him who is the Answer. We affirm that it is the truth of God’s love that produces the works of true healing, true restoration, and true peace. And thus we reaffirm that it is our first and highest commission to share, to make known, and proclaim the love of God to all peoples, and all the earth as He commissioned us to do 2000 years ago.
What is the Agenda of the Light? The Light of the World came as the Messiah, the Shepherd of Israel. He wept over Jerusalem as He foresaw the future of His people, the children of Israel. But for most of these last two thousand years, those who called themselves by the Name of Messiah did not love Messiah’s own flesh and blood people, but hated them, vilified them, oppressed and wounded them, hunted them down, and delivered them to their deaths: Jewish men, Jewish women, and Jewish children - His family - killed in the name of Him who, for them, shed tears of love.
We must love those on every side of every conflict and we must seek the blessing and peace of all. At the same time, if we claim to be of Messiah and have no love for His own people - the people of His heart, then we cannot claim to be of Him.
In a world that has proven hostile and dangerous to Jewish existence, those who are called by the name of Messiah must, of all peoples, bring the love of Messiah to those who brought Messiah to the world and fulfill the command of God: as it is written, “Comfort YeMy People says the Lord. Speak kindly to Jerusalem…” Is 40:1-2 and He will bless those who bless them.
What is the Agenda of the light? It is to protect the defenseless. The light must protect the weak of this world, the oppressed, the afflicted, the powerless, the children, the unborn, the persecuted, and the broken.
It is written in the Book of Hebrews, “Remember those who are in chains as in chains with them.”13:3 Meaning: the people of Messiah must first remember their brothers and sisters who are bound in the chains of persecution.
More Christians have been persecuted, brutalized, and killed in the modern age, than in any other. Every year, tens of thousands of Christians are dehumanized, tortured or killed, and over one hundred million Christians live in the darkness of persecution.
This very body, the United Nations, adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which declares that everyone has the right to “manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance.” But then why is it that believers are being killed for their faith in our day, in our midst, and next to nothing is being done?
And as for us, no people can call themselves the light of the world, if they watch passively on the sidelines as those who share the Name of Messiah are oppressed and killed for their faith.
If our faith consists of how comfortable and prosperous God can make us, while we deafen our ears to the cries of those who are neither comfortable nor prosperous, our brothers and sisters imprisoned and tortured for their faith, how can we bear the name “Christian?” On the Day of Judgment we will be asked, “Why did you do nothing to save them?” And what will our answer be?
So as we sit on our couches in front of our television sets in our air-conditioned homes, they sit on the stone floors of prisons and we remember them not. They would say to us now, “Do not forget us in our suffering.” “Do not forget us as our enemies come to take our lives.” “Do not forget that we once lived on this earth and gave our lives for Him who was our Light.” We must not forget them. We must remember them. And we must help them, protect them, and save them.
When you did it to the least of these you did it to Me. So if we stand by and do nothing, will He not on the day of judgment say to us, “When My village was burned, why did you not help Me?” “When Isis came to kill My family, why did you not intervene? When I was tortured and crucified why did you deafen your ears to My crying for your help. Why did you let Me perish?
When that day comes, let it not be said of us that we heard the cries of God and did nothing to help Him. Let us do the only right and moral thing we can do. As it is written in the Scriptures: “Deliver those who are being delivered to death.”
And lastly, what is the Agenda of the Light? It is written in the Word of God, that in the latter days there will be a great falling away from the faith, and persecution of the faithful. We are living in the days that have witnessed this very thing: when western civilization is rapidly descending from its biblical foundation... when good is called evil and evil good... when darkness is called light and light is called darkness... and when those who remain faithful to the precepts of the Light are branded as dangerous or enemies of the state... and those of Messiah wonder if they should keep silent.
What is the Agenda of the Light in times of darkness and at such a time as this? There is only one Agenda. It is not to keep silent, it is not to bend, it is not to yield to the darkness no matter how great. It is the Agenda of the Light to do one thing, in season and out of season, in times of good and times of evil – and that one Agenda is… to shine. And in times of darkness, the shining of the light becomes even more critical.
These are the days of our testing. We must not compromise, and we must not fail. If we live in the day when the darkness is growing still darker, then it is time for the light of the world to shine even brighter. If the bad is going from bad to worse, then it is time for the good to go from good to great. We cannot appease evil, or be intimidated by the dark. We must shine even more so. We must blaze against the night. It is the candle that shines in the night that lights up the world.
And He has given us the power to shine. For we know that the power of God is greater than the world, and that by this power - the power of the Spirit - the power of hope, the power of goodness, the power of faith, the power of love - the power of God, we can do all things and overcome the darkness.
For when all is said and done, the only thing that will matter is that we did the will of God and we lit up the darkness. No matter what it looks like and no matter what the odds, we must always remember that in the end, the light is stronger than the darkness.
For over four thousand years, all the forces of hell, all the powers of evil and darkness have tried to wipe the children of Israel off the face of the earth. The Pharaohs tried to vanquish them. Assyria tried to annihilate them. Babylon tried to crush them. Rome tried to eradicate them. The Nazis tried to exterminate them... and the agents of terror threaten to obliterate them.
But… the pharaohs are gone, Assyria is no more, Babylon has fallen, Rome has crumbled, the Nazis have perished and the terrorists will be no more. They have fallen, they have perished, and they are gone from this earth. But… the nation of Israel lives – because the God of Israel lives –and the Messiah of Israel lives – and therefore you His people will live!
And His Word is true;
His love is everlasting;
and His light will overcome the darkness.
Therefore people of God… shine into the darkness. Shine against the evil. Shine against the night. Shine into the nations. Shine in this world.
Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with the Word -
for you are the light of the world!
For thus says the Lord:
Kumee Oree Ke Vah Oraich –OohKavode Adonai Alayich Zarach -
Arise and Shine - for your light is come – and the glory of the Lord
has risen upon you -
and nations will come to your light,
to the Brightness
of your RISING!
The Name that is above all names that are named in the world: