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The First Dark Age on Earth

Modern historians tend to politicize their beliefs and subsequently rewrite history based upon their own worldview. This may explain the recent introduction of terms like Migration Period and Early Middle Ages to replace what my old textbooks called the Dark Ages. This secular period from 476–800 AD marks a gradual transition away from following God after Constantine’s influence on the Roman Empire. The apostle Paul would refer to this as letting your sinful nature run free, Galatians 5:16-21.

When men began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair, and they took wives of all they desired and chose. Then the Lord said, My Spirit shall not forever dwell and strive with man, for he also is flesh; but his days shall yet be 120 years, Genesis 6:1-3.

Despite what I was taught in Seminary, there isn’t nearly enough content to highlight the First Dark Age on Earth. Shortly after Enoch’s legacy of faith was forgotten, mankind took a turn for the worse. The words of Moses paint the picture of the thoughts going on inside the people on earth: “every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually. ” Meanwhile, their intentions were far worse: The earth was depraved and putrid in God’s sight, and the land was filled with violence (desecration, infringement, outrage, assault, and lust for power), Genesis 6:11.

There were giants on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God lived with the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually, Genesis 6:4-5.

The Bible is full of verses containing light and darkness. When you walk with God in Psalm 1 and 1 John 1, you are living in the light of Christ. However, anyone who stops walking with God due to busy-ness, carelessness, forgetfulness, idleness, or rebellion will quickly find themselves in darkness. According to Moses, walking with God and not walking with God is the difference between blessings and curses, Deuteronomy 28. May you make room in your life for Jesus in 2023 so you avoid the pain of a personal dark age on earth without God, John 15:1-5.

by Jay Mankus


Unrestrained and Unregulated

Light and darkness often appear together in the Bible. These common terms are designed to illustrate one’s spiritual condition. Anyone who walks with God by keeping in step with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25, is considered a child of the light. Those who exercise their own freewill by choosing to indulge their sinful nature live in darkness, unrestrained and unregulated from God’s commands.

Everyone who commits (practices) sin is guilty of lawlessness; for [that is what] sin is, lawlessness (the breaking, violating of God’s law by transgression or neglect—being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will), 1 John 3:4.

Over the course of my life, I’ve met thousands of individuals. There is one particular individual that I can recall who was unrestrained and unregulated. This person was unfiltered, saying and doing whatever came to his mind. While going down the beach with a friend, I made the mistake of getting into this guy’s car. This was the most uncomfortable and scariest car ride I have ever experienced.

But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). 17 For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do, Galatians 5:16-17.

The apostle Paul refers to the spiritual aspect of being unrestrained and unregulated. These individuals choose to be led by sinful cravings. Rather than respond or be guided by the Holy Spirit, temporary pleasures become their sole focus. The only way to break this lifestyle is by putting to death your old self as described in Colossians 3:1-9. While making any type of change takes time, but with God anything is possible, Philippians 4:13.

by Jay Mankus

Counterfeit, Imitation or Emulation?

As a former Store Manager for Michael Jordan Golf, I was trained to identify counterfeit bills. While working at Woodfield Mall in Chicago, I came face to face with a shop lifting ring. This group of individuals staged two different distractions in the store seconds a part so that the mastermind could pull off another heist. After talking with the Mall Police, I was educated and prepared for future groups that tried to imitate a regular shopper.

And what this love consists in is this: that we live and walk in accordance with and guided by His commandments (His orders, ordinances, precepts, teaching). This is the commandment, as you have heard from the beginning, that you continue to walk in love [guided by it and following it]. For many imposters (seducers, deceivers, and false leaders) have gone out into the world, men who will not acknowledge (confess, admit) the coming of Jesus Christ (the Messiah) in bodily form. Such a one is the imposter (the seducer, the deceiver, the false leader, the antagonist of Christ) and the antichrist, 2 John 1:6-7.

Light and darkness is a common theme in the Bible. There are 433 instances where the imagery of light appears. One of the simplicities of Jesus’ teaching is how to recognize the genuine from the fake. True followers are identified as the light of the world and salt of the earth in Matthew 5:13-16. Meanwhile, the counterfeit are easily exposed by the darkness of their deeds. One of Jesus’ disciples passes on this concept based upon how you live and walk.

Now just as Jannes and Jambres were hostile to and resisted Moses, so these men also are hostile to and oppose the Truth. They have depraved and distorted minds, and are reprobate and counterfeit and to be rejected as far as the faith is concerned, 2 Timothy 3:8.

Actions, deeds and words will eventually reveal if you are a genuine follower of Jesus or merely pretending. The apostle Paul makes an example of two individuals who were part of God’s chosen people, but were just going along with the crowd, waiting to enter the promised land. Not much as changed today as everyone has a reason, justification for why they live the way they do. Nonetheless, until you begin to become imitators of God, don’t be surprised when you start trying to blend in like a chameleon.

by Jay Mankus

Hungry Eyes

The inspiration behind Eric Carmen’s song Hungry Eyes was simple, getting a new recording contract. Since Hungry Eyes was a song on Carmen’s demo reel, this song was first released in 1987 with little expectation for success. Meanwhile, Millennium Records, the soundtrack for Dirty Dancing, was looking for one more song to complete its project. Thirty two million copies later, Hungry Eyes lives on today as a classic song which reached as high as #4 on the Billboard Top 100 Chart.

The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is sound, your entire body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is unsound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the very light in you [your conscience] is darkened, how dense is that darkness, Matthew 6:22-23.

Despite the success of this song, Jesus warns a first century crowd about the dangers of developing hungry eyes. Jesus uses the analogy of light and darkness to illustrate how human eyes serve as the lamp of your body. Those who focus their attention on the good, light, will be blessed. Unfortunately, anyone who allows lust to corrupt their eyes, opens the door, welcoming evil each time people indulge their sinful nature.

Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself], 1 John 2:15-16.

According to one of Jesus’ disciples, hungry eyes are a byproduct of love for the world. As individuals taste forbidden fruit by crossing the boundaries set in the Bible, a craving for sensual gratification is conceived. When bad habits such as masturbation, pornographic and sexual immorality linger without purging these sinful tendencies from your life, hungry eyes take over, fueled by a lust for more. If today’s blog finds you in bondage, held captive by sin, ask the Lord for an escape route, 1 Corinthians 10:13, to overcome the spiritual condition known as hungry eyes.

by Jay Mankus

Light Shines Brighter in the Dark

If you live in the middle or northern parts of the United States, you have probably experienced one of the strangest Springs in recent memory.  After the Northeast experienced four noreasters in March, April has greeted the Midwest with a couple of late snow storms as winter attempts to hold on for another week.  While Spring will eventually give way to Summer, there is one truth hidden within these unusual weather patterns.  Light shines brighter in the dark.

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil, John 3:19.

The Bible is filled with references to light and darkness.  Jesus uses light to illustrate that which is good, right and true.  Meanwhile, darkness symbolizes imperfections, lies and secret sins that people are afraid of, hoping that no one finds out these embarrassing deeds.  According to Jesus’ earthly brother, freedom comes from opening up, allowing light to enter darkness, James 5:16.  When confession is genuine and sincere, God’s light brings healing to wounded souls.

For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light, Ephesians 5:8.

The apostle Paul eludes to this transition in a letter to the church of Ephesus.  Later in this chapter, Paul writes about how human nature influences individuals to gravitate toward darkness, where there are no rules or standards.  Yet, Paul reminds believers of their decision to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, choosing light over darkness.  However, some stop growing along the way, comfortably numb.  In this scenario, imperfections are not exposed as God’s light is not fully magnified.  Although it may be difficult, painful and humbling, let God into every area of your life.  When you do, light will shine brighter in the dark to restore you back toward the narrow path, Matthew 7:13-14.

by Jay Mankus

We Found Each Other in the Dark

Tom Hanks plays the head cell block guard on death row in the 1999 film The Green Mile.  During his interactions with convicted murderers, one prisoner fits the physical description, but internally something is different.  Michael Clarke Duncan plays John Coffey, an intimidating man who possesses the gift of healing.  After witnessing 2 minor miracles, Tom Hanks convinces his entire staff to risk their jobs in order to save a woman dying from cancer.  James Cromwell, Hank’s boss in the film, is married to Patricia Clarkson who is on the verge of death.  After a powerful healing scene, Clarkson talks to Duncan revealing a dream she had during her ordeal with cancer.  This vision refers to finding each other in the dark.

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 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 cleanses us from all sin, 1 John 1:5-7.

The Bible uses the imagery of darkness to refer to moments or periods of time individuals are separated from God.  One of Jesus’ disciples associates being in God’s presence with fellowship.  As a personal eye witness to Jesus’ life on earth for 3 years, John testifies to the fact that Jesus was the real deal, full of love and light.  While most people flee from the lost, lonely and social outcasts, Jesus built his ministry around comforting, healing and waiting until desperate souls were touched by a miracle.  Jesus went into the darkness to help those unable to escape on their own.

But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him, John 11:10.

Human nature creates a curiosity within human hearts.  Like Eve in the Garden of Eden, even if you have been taught right from wrong, some won’t stop until they taste forbidden fruit.  For those who follow longings, lust and temptation into darkness, returning back where you came from isn’t as easy as it seems.  Enlightenment has a way of enticing people, creating a hunger for more.  Despite the presence of God’s light in small portions of this world, darkness seems to growing more and more by the day.  This expansion is causing many to stumble, stuck in darkness together.  May the light of Christ pierce through this darkness, John 1:5, so that those who unable to find their way out will be united once again into fellowship with God.

by Jay Mankus


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