Doctrine of Light

July 19, 2010


1. Definition:

a. Light is a complex scientific puzzle.
b. Scientists have battled over various theories of what light is for centuries.
c. The ancient Greeks believed that light streamed out of the eye much as water
streams out of a hose, the idea being that we see a thing by directing this stream
of light to hit it.
d. In 1668 Sir Isaac Newton proposed the theory that light consists of small
particles, corpuscles, of matter emitted in all directions in straight lines or rays
by a luminous body such as the sun, a burning candle, etc.
e. At about the same time a Dutch astronomer, Christian Huychens, advanced the

wave theory of light which states that light radiates from a source in straight
lines called rays; and they are perpendicular to the circles called wave fronts.
These light waves travel in much the same way as water waves produced when
a stone is dropped into still water.
f. In 1860, James Maxwell postulated the theory that visible light, radiant heat,
ultraviolet, infrared, and electromagnetic waves are all electromagnetic in
g. In 1905, a German physicist named Max Plank proposed the “quantum theory”
which states that light consists of bits of energy, “quanta of energy,” which are
also known as photons. According to this theory, light energy is emitted and
absorbed in quanta or photons. This is explained by the assumption that the
electrons in the atoms revolve in fixed spherical shells, and that any electron
when in a particular shell has a definite amount of energy. When electrons fall
from a higher energy level to a lower one, they loose energy in the form of light.
The same quantity of energy, no more or no less, is required to lift them back
again to the higher level.
h. In 1905, Albert Einstein asserted that matter and energy were one and the same

thing by the relationship in his now famous equation, E=mc2. His research to
determine the general theory of relativity is the basis of all modern scientific
technology including laser technology.

2. Etymology:

a. fw=j – phos – (Greek noun.) light, light bearer, light as the element and sphere
of the divine. (Eph. 5:13; John 1:4, 7-9)

b. fwteino/j – photeinos – (Greek n.) shining, bright, radiant, full of light,
illuminated. (Matt. 17:5)
c. fwti/zw – photidzo – (Greek vb.) to shine, to give light to, to light up,
to illuminate, to enlighten, to shed light upon,
to reveal. (Rev. 22:5)
d. roa – ’OR – (Hebrew) 1. noun – light; 2. verb – to be light, to become light,
to shine, to give light. (Gen. 1:3, 4)
3. God created light out of nothing and therefore God pre-exists light as we
understand it from a physics definition – see point #1. (Gen. 1:3)
4. God is described in terms of His creation; “God is light.” (1 John 1:5)
Also, Jesus Christ is said to be “the light” in John 1:4.
a. Light becomes a good illustration of both the “essence” and the “Trinity,”
persons of the Godhead.
b. Light is one in essence or substance, yet it is composed of three aspects:
(1) Actinic light or ultraviolet light is not seen nor experienced. This is
analogous to God the Father. (1 Tim. 6:16; 1 John 1:5)
(2) Luminiferous light or visible light is both seen and experienced. This is
analogous to God the Son. (John 12:35, 36)
(3) Calorific light or inferred light is not seen but is experienced. This is
analogous to God the Holy Spirit. (Gen. 1:2)
5. Jesus Christ as the manifest person of the Godhead is light. (John 1:4; 8:12;
John 9:5; 12:35, 36)
6. Light in its literal sense is absolutely necessary for man’s existence on the Earth.
(Eccl. 11:7; Jer. 31:35)
7. Israel received divine guidance from God during their wilderness experience in
the form of the Shekinah Glory cloud, “light by night.” (Ex. 13:21, 22; 14:20)
8. The gospel is called light. (2 Cor. 4:3, 4; 2 Tim. 1:10; cf. Acts 13:47 and Isa. 49:6)
9. The evangelist is called a light. (“the tribes of Jacob,” Isa. 49:6, “Paul and
Barnabas,” Acts. 13:47)
Doctrine of Light
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10. “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (2 Cor. 11:14)
11. Salvation brings the believer out of darkness into light, just as the planet earth was
brought out of darkness into light by God. (Luke 1:79; 1 Pet. 2:9; cf. Col. 1:12-14;
Gen 1:3)
12. Anyone who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ becomes one of the “sons of light.”
(John 12:36; 1 Thess. 5:5; cf. “saints in the light,” Col 1:12)
13. Believers in fellowship with God, filled with the Holy Spirit, are said to “walk in
the light.” (1John 1:7; 2:8-10; Eph. 5:8b)
14. Bible Doctrine resident in the souls of believers through study and the ministry
of God the Holy Spirit, is portrayed as “the fruit of the light.” (Eph. 5:8-10,
Psa. 119:105, 130; Prov. 6:23; cf. Psa. 36:9)
15. An edification complex of the soul of each believer is constructed from the light of
Bible doctrine. (Psa. 43:3; 119:130; Rom. 13:12, “the armor of light;” Eph. 5:8a)
16. The mature believer reflects the light of Bible doctrine. (Matt. 5:14, 16; 2 Cor. 4:6)
17. The glory of God will illuminate the new Jerusalem “and its lamp, the Lamb,” the
Lord Jesus Christ, “and the nations will walk by its light…” (Rev. 21:24)
18. Believers in eternity will have an illumination from the glory of the Lord God.
(Rev. 22:5; Daniel 12:2, 3)