Staying on the Glory Path, No Matter What
Staying on the Glory Path, No Matter What
by Lonnie Lane
In the beginning of creation, God spoke light into existence when darkness covered the earth. The darkness evidently preceded the light. God called the light “tov” (pronounced tove) or “good” but it doesn’t appear that He called the darkness good. It would seem that the darkness was “lo tov” or “no good.” Some scholars believe that the eviction of Lucifer and his mutinous followers when cast out of heaven were sent to earth which accounts for the darkness in the earth before God spoke the light into being. This didn’t mean day light but spiritual light because the sun, moon and stars were not created until the fourth day of creation.
When we see all that “darkness” conveys, we can see why it wouldn’t meet with God’s favor. Darkness can mean black or absence or deficiency of light, but it also can mean somber, dismal, bleak, gloomy, depressing, grim, morbid, wicked, evil, sinister, hellish, and even demonic. It can mean lack of sight or blindness, or obscurity or concealment of light. It is satan that seeks to bring about a lack of spiritual sight (or insight) and to obscure or conceal truth. That is the goal of his lies. It is ultimately truth that he seeks to rob us of. He is both a liar and a thief which is why he is the ruler of world forces of darkness (Eph 6:12).
Light on the other hand makes vision possible, whether it be spiritual or natural (physical) vision. It can mean spiritual illumination, or what brightens or illuminates. Light is manifested variously as radiance, luminescence, illumination, a glow, a flash, brilliance, and a glimmer. Light shines and light brightens. Light in the Bible is equated with truth. God, in opposition to darkness, is entirely light: “God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all” (John 1:5 NKJV). Yeshua said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:19; 9:5). Without Him there can be no true spiritual illumination or understanding. One translation of Hebrews 1:3 (J.B. Phillips) says that Yeshua is the “outraying” of the glory of God, meaning as the rays of the sun bring the sun to us.
Those who came to Yeshua’s light and followed Him witnessed Him as the Light of God and “walk(ed) in the light as He Himself is in the light” (1 John 1:7). The early church experienced the glory of God in great
“There is always a link in God’s heart between what takes place in Israel… and the spiritual state of the church.“
measure as they continued to follow Yeshua by faith. Yet, as the church turned away from its Hebrew foundation and faith in Israel’s God to “a different gospel” (Gal. 1:6; 2 Cor. 11:4) with a much distorted concept of Yeshua, it went from glory to darkness in a few short centuries. The Reformation restored the light of living by faith and millions were rescued from an eternity of darkness in the 1500s. But still, it wasn’t a glory-light. Four hundred years later, simultaneous with Israel being declared a nation on her God-given land in 1948, greater light came into the church as healing evangelists were given by God to the church. An even greater light was shed from above upon the church when the Holy Spirit came back into the church in power at the same time when in 1967 the city of Jerusalem came under Jewish authority for the first time in over 2000 years. So what comes next?
There is always a link in God’s heart between what takes place in Israel and specifically Jerusalem and the spiritual state of the church. What, then, shall we infer from what is taking place in the world today as nations come against Israel and threaten to end her existence (again — it’s been attempted before unsuccessfully.) Despite the greatest of odds, Israel has remained and continues as a leader in many areas of technology, medicine and education in the world. In the midst of defending herself, Israel invented the cell phone, for one thing. She continues to be a blessing to the world, even if the world doesn’t recognize her as such. Are there corresponding threats and blessings in the church? It would appear so.
Fulfillment of prophesy is the highest form of revelation apart from revelation of the Lord God Himself. If you’re looking for a great miracle, the restoration of Israel is the greatest fulfilled miracle, second only to the Resurrection. The restoration of Israel after 20 centuries is a sign to the earth and to the second heaven that “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell within” (Ps 24:1; 1 Cor 10:26). In other words, the earth belongs to God who will reclaim it entirely in the fullness of time. As God’s word cannot fail, so Israel will not fail. With regard to the church, Yeshua Himself said, “I will build My church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt 16:18). Evidently He was well aware that the gates (authority) of hell would attempt to prevail (overcome, dominate, conquer, master) against the church. Despite what it may look like at different times, God’s Word will be fulfilled. Both Israel and the church will remain despite the attempts of those who would seek to put an end to them both.
One of the most glorious prophesies God promised to Israel was that the glory of the Lord would shine upon and from within her at a time when there is spiritual darkness all around her. God will call Israel to reveal His glory at a time when darkness covers everywhere else on the earth, if we are to take this verse literally (and why wouldn’t we?) “Arise, shine; for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples but the Lord will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you” (Isaiah 60:1).
To arise means to ascend or come up higher, to stand when you weren’t standing before. This would indicate that Israel is being called by God to ascend to a spiritually higher place than she may have been and in that place, she will be the light that will shine in the darkness. Arise in Scripture is always akin to a higher spiritual level, even to go up to Jerusalem is to arise and is considered ascending to coming up to a higher spiritual place in Jewish literature and practice.
When a light shines in the darkness, the darkness flees! The light will come from the glory of God that has risen or come upon the people of Israel. No matter how dark the darkness in the world has become, when His glory appears upon His people, it will bring about glorious results. It will transform the lives of those who see His glory in and upon His people. This indicates that the darkness has no power over the people who are the carriers of God’s glory. It may cover the earth and it may cover the people of the earth, but upon those who are worshippers and followers of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the glory of God will be upon them and they will not be intimidated or overcome by the darkness. Gloorrreeee!
The devil has tried to separate the non-Jewish believers almost from the beginning from the promises God has given specifically to Israel, such as the Isaiah 60:1 verse above, which will not come to pass unless they are manifested to and through Israel. Any Gentile who came to faith in Yeshua, came to faith in the same God Yeshua worshipped and obeyed, the God of Avrahahm, Y’tzaac and Ya’acov, otherwise known as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. There was no ‘other’ God that the non-Jewish believers came to. So that verse applies to those who have attached themselves to Israel’s God through Israel’s Messiah — Yeshua. When darkness rages upon the earth, the glory of the Lord will rise upon those who walk in His Ways, and love Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27).
Notice please that the glory of the Lord is not likely to come upon those who distance themselves out of disdain from or come against Israel, for to do so is to come against God’s Word and His heart, for He loves Israel. It is the expectation of many that the true church will be made up of those who will love and stand with Israel even if the world turns against her. In our hearts we continue to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May they prosper who love you” (Ps 122:6). As we see in that verse, praying for the shalom of Jerusalem carries a promise. God will spiritually prosper those who care about the peace of Jerusalem, especially in a time when many around them want anything but Israel’s peace, but rather their destruction. Those who choose to be politically correct and disregard God’s Word and/or dishonor Israel will likely be the population of the darkness, not the light. The “joy of the Lord” will not be theirs and therefore, neither will He be their “strength” (Neh 8:10) in a time when strength may be needed. But those who love what God loves, meaning righteousness as defined in His Word as well as Israel as His Word tells us. They will be among those upon whom the glory of the Lord will rise.
As God always dealt with Israel as a nation, and as this promise of the glory of the Lord rising upon them seems to be a corporate matter of the whole nation, it would seem that lone rangers are less likely to be exhibiting
“Not everyone who calls themselves believers in Jesus will be candidates for His glory.“
God’s glory than those who are an integrated part of the community of God. That is not to say that God won’t use individuals as they go through their days or lives, but staying close and being involved with the righteous family of God seems to be a prerequisite to walking in His glory. Not everyone who calls themselves believers in Jesus will be candidates for His glory. There may come to be the governmentally approved or “official” church whose messages are politically correct, where sinners can sit and feel no conviction, because there is no preaching of repentance or of holiness or, for that matter, of love for Israel. There will also be the body of Believers that are aligning themselves with the Word of God, attempting to live in holiness regardless of the cost, those upon whom the glory of the Lord shall arise in His appointed time. Even now, the rod of division between the two is beginning to be lifted. Be discerning. Don’t let natural affections keep you from seeking like-minded, light-seeking Believers if you find the light dimming where you are.
The book of Job was the first book of the Bible written and therefore the oldest. Job’s revelation of God regarding light and dark was this: “He reveals mysteries from the darkness and brings the deep darkness into light” (Job 12:22). Since Job lived closer to creation than any other writer of the Bible, perhaps he was given to understand that with the coming of light upon the earth God revealed what was a mystery. To those who do not value the book of Genesis, for instance, where sin comes from remains a mystery to them as well as the tactics of satan. A great deal comes to light from studying the first three chapters of Genesis. As we in the light of God’s Word, He illuminates to us what were mysteries before as we come to understand Who He is and grasp what His lordship in the earth means at all levels of life. Even in the Bible the things of God are spiritually discerned by spiritual people. They must be “revealed” by God’s Spirit; they must come through revelation, not learning or thinking it through with our natural (usually Fallen) minds. What seems like wisdom to man can in fact be spiritual darkness.
For all the learning and knowledge that man has attained, we are still falling, it seems, into moral decline which is to say into darkness. The further we depart from the entire Word of God, the further we stray from the path of righteousness which is light. “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” ( Ps. 119:105). No Word, no lamp, no light and we cannot see the way in which to walk in truth and God’s ways. It can happen quickly. The Reformation was born in Germany, but Germany became the nation of the deepest atrocities. A young woman from Germany has come to visit our family recently. She tells us that there is no place in Germany where she can worship God as she has since she came to America. Having great revelation and spiritual awakening does not insure a continuation of God’s presence if the people turn off the light and walk away from the “paths of righteousness” (Ps. 23:3). Europe which experienced the Reformation is in dim light except for pockets here and there. America has been the great light on the hill of civilization for several centuries but that light is now being challenged as never before.
There is the light from the sun which shines without help from anything or anyone. Then there are light sources which depend upon man, such as candles or lamps of any kind. The true church is like the sun,
“As light enables us to see, spiritual light enables us to see the truth which God is and which God brings.“
dependent only upon God to be a light and cannot be put out or dimmed. But there are many lights that are dependent upon man to keep them shining. If the source of those lights are suddenly turned off for any number of reasons, their power will be diminished so they are entirely unable to bring true light. Only churches which are entirely dependent upon God for their light, their truth and the way in which they will live, will continue to be light for those around them. As light enables us to see, spiritual light enables us to see the truth which God is and which God brings. The true light will bring revelation of God and awareness of His holiness. Without His light, His enabling us to see HIM, we can quickly slip into spiritual darkness. The churches that are functioning with man’s light can only give revelation and insight into man and his ways, but not into God and His ways.
Isaiah prophesied that there would come a time when darkness would cover the earth. There have been numerous times when darkness covered the earth throughout history. There was also a time when the “glory of the Lord” was upon Israel, especially under King David and for a time under Solomon until he stepped off the path defined by God’s Word which resulted in Israel too quickly, in one generation, sliding into darkness. After Solomon, Israel never again experienced sovereignty in their own God-given land for three thousand years. But as we know, it has been a battle for her to keep her land. But it is not a political issue, it is a spiritual issue.
God said that the land of Israel is His; He calls it “My land” (Jer 2:7; 16:18; Ez. 36:5; 38:16; Joel 1:6, 3:2). That’s why the battle. Satan-inspired men have sought to take the land from Israel because satan is trying to show God as a liar and unable to keep His Word. [satan tries to recast in men’s minds God in his own image as the liar that he is.] Only by God’s great grace and His faithfulness to His Word has Israel been able to maintain her land. We give God the glory for His promises that cannot be broken. Therefore we have the assurance that Israel will remain on that land, though the nations that come against her may perish, just as they did in Biblical days.
To get back to the issue of light and glory upon Israel, there has never there been a time of great global darkness at the same time as the glory of God was upon Israel. That has yet to come about. It is a prophesy yet to be fulfilled, just as there is prophesy that the nations of the world will come against Israel but God will come to her rescue. As in the past, other nations, even empires that came against Israel are no more: Not the Medes, the Persians, the Babylonians, even Rome as a world-encompassing empire. It was said that the sun did not set upon England and the land she owned. But shortly after her betrayal against Israel as she was becoming a modern nation, she was reduced to a small island. Her empire was no more either.
But there is more to come. The nations of the world will come into alliance against Israel and He will strengthen her in that day: “In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord before them. And it will come about in that day that I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zech. 12:8,9).
We have no time table for that event. The world has gone through much in several thousand years, and we have yet to go through a time of Israel’s glory while the world is in darkness. But we may be headed in that direction even as I write and as you read this. Sanctioning with favor what God calls sin and an abomination, even by people who call themselves Christians is, wouldn’t you say, living in deception and having one’s spiritual eyes dimmed? Isn’t the growing violence we see sign of a life of fear and a deterioration of morality and trust in God? Would you call that encroaching darkness?
In times of darkness, that is the time when the light of God’s people shines the brightest. When moral decline slides into depravity that is when the integrity and spiritual character becomes evident in God’s people. When people are feeling, as was stated above: somber, dismal, bleak, gloomy, depressing, grim, morbid, wicked, evil, or sinister; when they are trapped in situations that are hellish, and even demonic, that’s when the power of God upon His people can step in to break people free and to bring light into the darkness, and the hope of deliverance, and the joy of salvation. We as the people of God in this day in which we live are quite likely to have the opportunity to experience the true church’s finest hour!
God has said, “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts” (Haggai 2:9). There will come a time when there will be only one light in the earth and it will be from those who belong to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and follow His Word without compromise. We who are Yeshua’s are the “latter house” and when the world is in chaos and turmoil, God will give supernatural peace to His people. We know the truth. We know the real battle behind the battle and we know Who wins. We know what happens in the earth in the here and now isn’t the end of the story. We know our destiny is with “Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy” (Jude 1:24).
We may have to heavily rely upon the Holy Spirit for His fruit of patience and long-suffering for a time. But like Abraham who by means of a promise inherited his promise through patience (Gal 3:18), or like those who continued on, “knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and an abiding one” you will not “throw aware your confidence, which has a great reward. For you (may) have need of endurance so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised” (Heb. 10:34-36).
God began His revelation to man of Himself “in the beginning” of Genesis related to light and He ends His revelation of Himself to mankind in a victorious reference to light found in the last chapter of the Bible. The Bible ends as a magnificent symphony, all the parts coming together in glorious and harmonious whole. In a majestic crescendo we read:
“…And there shall no longer be any curses; and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His bond-servants shall serve Him; and they shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever” (Rev. 22:5).
Nothing is worth forfeiting that!
Reprint of this article is permitted as long as you use the following; Use by permission by Messianic Vision, www.sidroth.org, 2009.
Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. Used by permission.