We previously saw that the illumination of the earth was a precursor to the fall of Babylon (Rev. 18:1). The earth has experienced great glimpses of God’s illuminating glory through the centuries. These include outward manifestations of revelations, signs and wonders that have come in various dispensations.
There are many forms of light that illuminate the earth in the physical world, from the luminaries of the sun, moon and stars to the lights that illuminate our houses and streets.
Light has become so prevalent in parts of the world that some affluent communities restrict the amount of light on their streets in order to minimize “light pollution”.
In the spiritual sense too, man suffers from light pollution in the old heavens under which he lives. Man has gathered for himself numerous luminaries that light his earth. These include the luminaries of politics and its political leaders, sports and its sports stars, popular culture and its musicians, actors and media personalities, academia and its professors and philosophers, religion and its religious teachers and on and on we can go. People’s thoughts, beliefs, interests and conversations often revolve around what is illuminating their earth. For they walk under the light of those luminaries which dominate, dictate and govern them.
There have also been great lights that have emerged in the form of nations and ideologies, be it the economic, social, religious or political spheres. America is one such luminary that has risen to illuminate the nations of the world. In times of crisis in any corner of the world, there is a general expectation that America will intervene. For many, this nation is the light in a dark globe. It has come to represent the moral and ethical standard for many nations. American exceptionalism has not only been espoused by Americans but has been accepted by countless throughout the world that have paid a lofty price to set their foot on that soil. But this nation is a fleeting luminary. For the American dream is but an illusion, the democracy experiment is waning, the American project of capitalism is but a system of greed and extortion. While many look to the west as a beacon of light and a model of prosperity, the deterioration and decay from within exposes the depravity of this luminary which has been elevated over the old heavens of men and nations.
Whatever the luminaries, all lights are summed up in scriptures as the sun, moon and stars of the old heavens. Their destiny is to pass away. But before they are darkened out there in the all-encompassing and collective sense, these lights (authorities, dominions) will be darkened within us. John the revelator relays to us these events saying: “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” (Rev. 21:1).
Dear saint, do you see the old heaven and earth passing away in your spiritual progression in the Kingdom or are you still toiling under the sun? Solomon asks: “What profit has a man from all his labor in which he toils under the sun?” (Ecc. 1:3). The routine and repetitive nature of life, the mundane everyday tasks, and the continuous grind is indeed a burdensome task given to man by which he must be exercised (Ecc. 1:13).
But Solomon points out that these are all labors under the illumination of the sun. These refer to the works energized by Adam that millions are occupied with in the natural order of life. To be “under the sun” of the old heaven is to abide under and to be governed by the order of the natural world – this is the domain of the natural man whereby man lives purely by what he sees and touches in this physical world. These labors in the old heaven and earth are vain toils of the flesh.
History is evidence that man, as sophisticated, as wise and as technologically advanced as he has become, has produced a world that is more corrupted, more polluted, more sick, more socially disconnected and more destitute of joy and life. Thus the wise man said: “there is nothing new under the sun… I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind. What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be numbered. ” (Ecc. 1:9, 14, 15).
Oh what vanity of vanities the system of the world is. Void of life. Void of any lasting solutions for the numerous dilemmas of society. Every effort of man, one and all, are carnal man pursuing carnal solutions to a carnal problem. Has God not said: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (1 Cor. 1:19-20).
Praise God, the trumpet is sounding! The voice of revelation is going forth and it is awakening a people who will walk in the light of Lord’s countenance. This voice will shake not only their old earth but also their old heaven causing the removal of every luminary that has exalted itself against the knowledge of God. Every light that does not find it source in the glory of the Lord has to be darkened, it must fall, for it is of the old heavens.
Dear saint, has not the system of this world become empty to you? Has it not lost its appeal? Do you not see man’s political system as the empty promises of men who seek power and not lasting change? Has the economic system of the world which is founded on inequality and systemic poverty become deplorable to you? What of the religious system that has intoxicated the masses, has it not become wearisome to your soul?
Every system, structure, organization, nation and ideology that has been elevated over the old heavens of men will surely be usurped by a superior Light. This is the divine illumination of the rule and reign of Christ in the kingdom of God. For “the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Dan. 2:44).
In Revelation, as the forth trumpet is sounded John sees that: “a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened” (Rev. 8:12). To those who read this book with spiritual awareness, it should be clear that this is not referring to the literal removal of the sun, moon and stars. The removal of our old heavens is a spiritual experience of every elect son of God (the one-third company). This great process bespeaks the darkening of the old heavens of our natural lives, which include all the realms, systems and people who exerted their influence and power over our lives.
To those apprehended to sonship, the call has come to arise, shine; for your light has come! The glory of the Lord is risen upon you (Isa. 60:1). Indeed now we see the darkness covering the earth. But it can no longer exert its control over us. For our heavenly Father has given us a glorious light in Christ, it is a new mind, a new understanding, a new heart, a new spirit, a new identity, a new nature. This wonderful light that has risen in our heart is the Lord Himself who has come upon us and within us to bring forth complete illumination of His glory in the light of truth, life and reality in the spirit!
But notice that the light of His glory has come over us in order for us to ARISE and SHINE. We are not only to walk in the light of the glory of the new heaven but we are to be the very conduits of this marvelous light to those who dwell in darkness of the old heavens and earth.
Only the man who lives under the order and illumination of the new heaven can effect lasting change in the lives and communities he touches. It was said of Daniel: “There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the Spirit of the Holy God. And in the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, were found in him” (Dan. 5:11).
It is the light of Christ that draws those in darkness. The magnitude (brightness) of the Sun of righteousness arising within is the measure to which we can impart it to transform others. For: “the Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising” (Isa. 60:3).
Sons of the Day, arise and shine, for your Light has come!
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