"ON EAGLES’ WINGS MINISTRIES"
“God speaks, separates, and acts.” October 2014. Part 2
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:3-5.
In the previous newsletter, we dealt with the call of God upon the man Abram; and the choices he made in answering that call. We noted how he brought along others who were not a part or portion of what God had in store for Abram.
As we understand it, just about all events and people chronicled in the Old Testament narrative, are meant to be types and shadows, symbols and signs, meant to be landmarks, and examples for us today.
It does not take us long to look upon the lives of Abraham and Sarah, Hagar, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, to realize how important and relevant their real life experiences remain today. One of the main points gleaned from part one of this study, is that because Abram included others into the call he got from God, he had to accommodate changes and separations more than would be necessary had he answered the call on a personal basis.
We honestly cannot fault him for bringing along his wealth, his father, his wife, his nephew, and all the real assets that they possessed. As we alluded to in part one, Abraham sought a city not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, meaning that he could not divide between the natural (literal) and the spiritual. A person can only walk in the light that he or she has, and God accepts them on that basis. That is why all the seeds in the parable of Christ were good seeds, planted by a sower who knew his trade.
All the necessary elements came together such as good seeds, well prepared soil, the correct time of year to sow seeds, and a sower who did this for a living. Yet at harvest time, so seeds brought forth thirty fold, some sixty fold, and so on. It goes to show, how, although under the same ideal conditions, because of the capacity woven into each seed by the Divine hand, the fruits produced vary accordingly. But the ways of man carries a common thread that applies to us all.
Today, we are faced with some of the same hurdles and challenges as Abram, Sarah, Jacob and Esau all faced. But when we turn to the book of Galatians, we admire the way Paul explained all that transpired in the household of Abraham and Sarah, involving another woman and two sons. We see how it is that God was busy all along, working out his divine plan in what must have been painful and confusing for those involved back then. At this juncture, we must have gotten hold of what the call, and separation means in real time.
We will turn our thoughts to God’s act of separating the light from the darkness. Our minds are quickly turned to metaphors and allegories. As far as God is concerned, what he did in Genesis one, two, three to five, carried enormously greater truths than the sunlight within a 24-hour day and night in our literal world. Could it be that God was actually looking into a dimension of spiritual realities that in turn, has set before us two separate worlds?
It does not take a long time and burdensome studies to identify two worlds or two kingdoms that vie for our loyalty. Starting with the teachings of Christ, and adding the letters of Paul and others, we see how clearly the line between light and darkness is explained on the basis of spiritual realities. There is the kingdom of light, and the kingdom of darkness. Each is real and dominant in its own realm, and produces after its own kind. Paul referred to this in Romans 8: 2. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
We are faced with two distinct laws that govern two distinct kingdoms: that in turn, produce two distinct results. To my way of thinking, one cannot ride the fence and play on both sides of these facts. Paul declared for himself that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made him free from the law of sin and death. He lived freely in one, and had no contest or rivalry with the other. Thank you Jesus!
Even when physical death came looming around the next corner for Paul, he declared: “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20: 24.
The apostle was consumed and totally absorbed by the light of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, that the darkness of that other realm could not faze him. Jesus remarked that the prince of this world cometh and findeth nothing in me. That is nothing that he could use as an entry, or an instrument of discord. Here is Paul again! “Giving thanks unto the Father which hath made us meet (or worthy) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son (the kingdom of light.) Colossians 1:12, 13. Listen to Paul’s admonition to the saints in Ephesus. “For though you were once all in darkness, now as Christians ye are light. Live like men who are at home in daylight, for, for where light is, there all goodness springs up, all justice and truth.” Ephesians 5:8,9. N.E.B. Translation.
Jesus remarked in his teachings: “While ye have the light (not the sun or the moon) believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.” John 12: 36. J.B. Phillips translation puts it this way. “You must believe in the light while you have the light (Jesus speaking of himself) that you may become the sons of light.”
From a humanistic point of view, we can easily believe that when God said let there be light, which he later called day, this included the sun and its light giving rays that seemingly keeps our planet alive and well. But John rendered a more powerful perspective concerning the word light. He carefully defined the meaning so we can understand it.
“In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shinneth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John assured us that he was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of that light. John 1:4-8. Here is a powerful statement that we seemingly ignore, or simply fail to grasp its true significance.
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: (of course this could not be mistaken to be the light of day referred to in Genesis one)
He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12. Notice that this light is not connected to night as being the opposite: rather it caters to, and constitutes life. But in truth, to have the light of life means to possess it in reality, and not a mere mental exercise. It is not merely an expression: it is even more than a possession—it is becoming light. After all, the light that Jesus Christ is, is the life of men.
Jesus alluded to this fact: “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3: 19. We read a remarkable account in Matthew. “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” Matthew 17: 1, 2. This ties in with Malachi 4:2. “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; (in his rays) and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” Jesus did not bring light into the world. He was, and is, the Light.
Peter, James, and John saw Jesus in a transfigured form, because for that moment in time, the Lord drew back the shroud that covered their eyes, and they saw Jesus as he always was. In other words, he did not transfigure himself simply for that moment. It was on the part of the disciples who had their vision retuned and calibrated enough for them to look upon Jesus as the Sun of Righteousness.
So once again, let us remind ourselves that putting the creation story aside for a moment, we look past light as the day, and darkness as the night. We join God and sort of looking over his shoulder down the corridor of time, and we see with open visions a new realm of understanding. It is at that point that we begin to understand that God laid down lines of demarcation between good and evil, and between darkness and light.
We can well remind ourselves that while there was darkness throughout Egypt, there was light in Goshen: and God said that he put a difference between good and evil, even though both are the same to him, in terms of his divine purpose in his work in his creation. An ancient prophet wrote: “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” Isaiah 45:7.
Paul indicated that as true believers in Christ, we should not be confused or live in wonderment as to the times and the seasons. We should know what’s going on, and what time it is in God’s schedule. Paul exhorted certain church groups on this wise. “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all children of light, and the children of the day (obviously not a 24-hour day) we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” 1st Thessalonians 5:4, 5.
When we grasp the truths behind the separation of light and darkness, as the act relates to profound New Testament realities, we find it much easier to understand the entire creation story. When we look past the biblical narrative in Genesis, and see the big picture to which the story relates, all the ingredients and factors fall into place.
A prophet who lived a long time ago wrote saying: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” Isaiah 60: 1-3. These are Messianic prophesies, pointing to the coming of Jesus Christ and his impact upon mankind at large.
As to the coming of Christ and the overall impact he would have, the prophet wrote again: “Every valley shall be exalted , and every mountain and hill : shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Isaiah 40:4, 5.
The gospel of salvation that has been preached to us over the past centuries extols the grandiose redemptive power of Christ in the saving of the soul. Some preachers even exhort us to forget about saving the body, because “it ain’t going anywhere.” But Isaiah 40: 4, 5 and chapter 60: 1-3 plainly address the body in a very physical application of truth. The glory comes upon you! It shall be seen upon you! All flesh shall see it together!
This ever unfolding truth, seemingly, has been lost even before the Dark Ages hit the world: and when the dawn of the Reformation came over yonder hills, much of these truths simply did not return. In fact, when speaking in tongues and the gifts of the Spirit hit the scene in Topeka, Kansas, and later on brought to Los Angeles in 1906 by Bro. William Seymour, who ministered at 312 Azusa Street; it came as a surprise to the masses that resulted in great resistance across the Christian landscape.
There were at least 120 souls in the upper room, waiting 10 days until the Holy Ghost fell on the day of Pentecost. Numerous sermons have been preached about this event, and scores of books have been written also. But very few managed to highlight exactly what transpired there on that day. We are told: And there appeared (being seen visibly) unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. Acts 2:3.
So, if we are to believe this biblical account of what happened that day, we must assume that the cloven tongues as of fire that sat upon each person was seen one upon the other. This was a visible phenomenon and Peter explained it this way: “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” Acts 2:33.
Jesus said: “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” Luke 24:49. The term “endued with power from on high” means to be clothed upon; so what was manifested at Pentecost was only a fulfillment of the promise of the Father and articulated by the Son of God. We can concur with Isaiah when he said that all flesh would see the glory of the Lord together.
Indeed, all flesh present in the upper room did see the glory of the Lord, and even the crowd that was then transfixed by the day’s event also saw and were amazed. But we believe that the upper room experience was only a prelude of greater blessings, and greater manifestations down through the ages.
We need not try to “spiritualize” what occurred in the upper room. And in his teachings, Jesus emphasized the need for God’s glory to be seen by others. Here is a command offered by the Lord: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5: 16.
Although there is no correlation between darkness and light, and although we have determined that both cannot co-exist, none of these factors impede, restrain, or frustrate God. The Psalmist wrote: “Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” Psalm 139:12. Here is a scenario that seems to be a paradox or an oxymoron.
“Then said Solomon, The Lord hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.” 2nd Chronicles 6:1. But if we fast-forward to New Testament times, we read this account: “Who only hath immortality dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.” 1st Timothy 6:16. To the logical mind, God would have to dwell in one or the other, but not both at the same time. However, since darkness and light are the same to Him (Psalm 139:12) it makes no difference at all.
Let us see the importance of light once more, not in providing guidance to our feet, but speaking of an enlightened life and mind. We can well remember what happened on that fateful in Babylon, when a young king sought to discredit God and to desecrate the temple vessels that were brought from Jerusalem. During the festivities a hand appeared, writing on the wall. To condense the narrative, we join the scene when the queen approached the king, who was in total rage.
“Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed: There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father (actually his grandfather) light and understanding and wisdom was found in him.” Daniel 5:10, 11. As Daniel stood before the king, his majesty repeated the fact that he had heard that Daniel possessed light and understanding.
To this very point, Paul wrote saying: “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened:” Ephesians 1:17, 18. God has given light to his people and Jesus suggested that as we have the light, we should walk in it. But it has been proven over and over again, that when we rebel and refuse to walk in the light, we are thrown into gross darkness. This happened to a people a long time ago.
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Romans 1: 20, 21.
So here, in black and white, is a classic example of what happens when folks rebel and ignore the truth. There are multitudes living among us, who are living in depravity, engaging in unbecoming behavior: that used to attend church, sang in the choir, and were even ministers of God’s word. I have listened to some of these on radio talk shows, and have seen some on television panel discussions.
My simple conclusion is that man was made to believe in something: and if he refuses to believe the truth, he will inevitably believe a lie. Notice in Paul’s letter, what happened to those who failed to recognize God and to give him the glory that belongs to his name. Those that were unthankful and became vain in their imaginations had their foolish heart darkened. It is as if the finger of God slowly and silently turned off the light (that is a conduit for all that is good in God,) and their foolish heart is turned to vanity.
Paul painted this vibrant picture of the outcast, who are architects of their won downfall. “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2nd Thessalonians 2:11, 12.
Looking as it were, over our shoulders, back in time to the Garden and hearing God separating light from darkness, from our current vantage point, we get a full and complete understanding of what was begun by the finger and voice of God, that continues to unfold before our very eyes. But more than that, we are not mere spectators: we are participants and an integral part of the heavenly design and purpose that God formulated within himself before time began. How great is our God: how great is his name. He’s the greatest One, every day he’s the same he rolled back the waters of the might red sea, and he continues to lead. Hallelujah!
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